It is truly remarkable just how long the Planet Of The Apes franchise has lasted throughout history. The first film was released in the 1960s and now here we are in 2014 with yet another film, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, hitting theaters on this subject material. What is interesting, however, is that no matter how many movies they make, the topic never gets old, and they seem to be making more and more interesting films. This film is absolutely no exception, with this being one of the best of the series so far. It hits topics such as human rights and how humans have tendencies to destroy each other simply for the idea of having more power over others. Caesar acts as a fatherly leader who teaches that violence is not the answer. But, the enemy, Koba, shoots Caesar with a human gun and, therefore, starts a war with the humans to take control of the land. It is an incredible movie with very good special effects that make for a realistic looking scenario.
The composer for the eight Apes film is Michael Giacchino, this making his third collaboration with Matt Reeves. His scores for movies have been so emotional and narrator friendly that it was genius to choose him just based on his ability to compose for context. His Star Trek scores are two great examples of this trait, as well as some other movies like Up and The Incredibles, two of Giacchino’s Pixar achievements. One of his most anticipated scores coming up is Jurassic World, the fifth film in the Jurassic Park franchise. All of these scores have some incredible music with vast amounts of emotions that take you away and give you a love for his scores.
Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes is without a doubt of on Giacchino’s better efforts, and you can hear this immediately in the first few tracks. We start with “Level Plaguing Field”, which has some very quirky piano. You can tell that Giacchino really wanted to stretch Jerry Goldsmith’s original roots here. The same elements in that score a very much present in this one too. “Look Who’s Stalking” is some good tense atmospheric music. The whole idea of bells and subtle timpani rolling are clever but not, personally, my taste. Still it creates a nice atmosphere that works very well with the film. The weird choir here is very cool and gives you chills.
“Great Ape Professional” is the first really outstanding cue on this album. This narrative cue throws a lot of great emotion to us. Giacchino wants to tell us that the apes, even though they have taken over the world, are indeed the good guys and don’t want war. “Among Simian Lines” is another example of this sound. It works well with the percussion and the cool xylophone accents. The subtle piano also helps to keep a light atmosphere and set a friendly tone.
The action cues in this album are where the score really shines. “Close Encounters of the Furred Kind” is a great action cue that has lots of good percussion and brass accents that sound cool. “Gorilla Warfare” is a good highlight and a long one, seven minutes to be exact. The brass is in full force and the idea of Goldsmith’s score ver closely resembles this score. The sand shakers with the quirky woodwinds keep the action going. “Primates For Life” is a wonderful closing cue that has a distinct melody to remember and it closes the film beautifully on the sunset.
Giacchino’s efforts for this Apes film are an incredible one, but ultimately, it has little sense without a context. Many times you will sit wondering where you are in the film, but that doesn’t make it bad music. It does, however, slightly diminish the functional part of it out of context. Still, in overall standing, this score will certainly not disappoint you and the emotion is definitely present, which is the most important thing. The puns alone in the titles of each track are worth looking at, for if that doesn’t entertain you then you will be by the music.
Music As Written For The Film: 4.5/5
Music As Heard On Album 3/5