X-Men: Apocalypse - John Ottman
What You Will Hear: Ottman’s usual X-Men vocabulary mixed with darker voicings than past outings. Oh, and Beethoven.
Standout Tracks: Apocalypse, The Transference, Pyramid Collapse/Main Titles, Eric’s Rebirth, Beethoven Havok, New Pyramid, The Magneto Effect, You’re X-Men/End Titles
Will You Be Humming Along? Apocalypse’s theme is appropriately menacing.
The album this makes me want to dust off: Meh.
Will I come back to it? John Ottman’s entries into the X-Men series have consistently rated at the bottom of my rankings. So, as I began this listening experience, I had low expectations. The opening tracks (presumably telling Apocalypse’s back story) were a pleasant surprise. The instrumentation feels darker, and the choir is intense. It was a welcome departure from X2 and Days of Future Past. While the choir doesn’t maintain a big presence throughout, the influence of Apocalypse is always felt. This character is what brought me around to finally enjoying an Ottman X-Men score.
It was also nice to hear the one highlight from Days of Future Past make several appearances. While I can’t say it ever appears in it’s exact original form, the mood of Xavier’s Theme shows up quite often. (See: Just A Dream)
Unfortunately, even considering everything Apocalypse has going for it, I won’t be returning. My main complaint with Ottman’s attempts is that these scores just have no identity. Beyond the opening fanfare and motifs, there is nothing that holds it all together. (I know the fanfare is all over X2, but I’ve never felt it really matches the story. These heroes are hated for being mutants and Ottman included no angst in his theme. We're not watching Christopher Reeves' Superman.) While Apocalypse and Xavier provide a little bit of cohesiveness here, it is not enough. This is my favorite of Ottman’s scores for this series, but it still ranks below all of experiences created by Kamen, Powell, and Jackman.
P.S. What's with the Shawshank Redemption quote on Eric's Rebirth?