I had the opportunity to finally see Wonder Woman and I must say that it was refreshing. Although the series is just getting started, I agree that it is the better of the few DC movies in this latest series of the superhero world. The plot took a different turn than what I assumed and her outfit was banging! However, this post is about the music. So let’s get to it.
Listen to the entire Wonder Woman Score Soundtrack on Spotify, Apple Music, Google Music, Amazon Music, or Youtube. My poison of choice…Spotify. So if you want to hear the pieces I reference, get you an account! It’s free (with commercials), but a student account is only $5/month and premium is $10. Hook up, check.
Disclaimer: I try to use vague language but there are somewhat spoilers in this post. Proceed at your own risk!
Rupert Gregson-Williams is the lead composer listed for this film. I am familiar with his name but not too many of his works, frankly because, I was not interested in the movies such as Open Season, The Legend of Tarzan, and Winter’s Tale. However, I am very familiar with Harry Gregson-Williams and his work on the Chronicles of Narnia series. I absolutely loved his works so I had high hopes for Rupert and this film.
Wonder Woman’s Theme
My interest in Wonder Woman’s score was actually sparked in Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice when her theme was introduced in this film.
Frankly, it was the best music all film. Hans Zimmer scored this film, so I assume he developed the theme. The driving percussion and daring guitar melody depict her unexpected strength. At her official introduction in Batman vs. Superman, she swoops in to help the duo in their last fight. Her ultimate unveiling is ushered in by this spot on theme that kicks off the final battle.
I enjoyed the use of WW’s theme in this film. Rupert saves the main theme for the climax instead of weaving it between scenes via slight variations (my favorite approach). Throughout the film, we witness WW’s growth from young warrior to fully developed “god killer”. However, there is no real clear-cut, entry point into her “coming of age”. There were a few glimpses of her power but nothing came together until her battle at The Front.
This re-introduction of the theme was a pleasant surprise. I forgot about it until this point and the song enhanced the scene. At this very moment, you knew that she finally met her destiny and came into full knowledge of all her duty, and blah blah blah. It was quite beautiful though.
Variations on the Theme
After realizing that WW’s theme was saved for the climactic battle, I had to go back and listen to all of the Soundtrack to find any other variations or common melodies that I might’ve missed. When listening to the soundtrack, I was reminded of the movie’s actual theme.
Although very little variation, there is an enchanting theme that is introduced on the island in the beginning and repurposed throughout the film. The melody is so perfectly aligned with the movie setting that seamlessly complements the scenes. I felt bad for not noticing the music as I normally do. However, I came to the realization that it did its job. The music supported the story line and gave the slightest hint of the plot at certain times. Never did it over take the scenes, and that’s how it’s done right!
Cliché or Naw?
I’m not going to lie, I’m starting to get a little annoyed by the trumpet fanfare sound that appears in all superhero movies at some point. Of course, Wonder Woman is victim to that as well. I’d love to see a new sound emerge in this superhero movie era. I understand that Western music has developed the average musical ear to listen for cliche styles. I believe the ultimate satisfaction comes from doing the unexpected though. That’s what makes Moonlight Sonata such an enchanting piece, Beethoven did something unexpected with the chordal progressions. We need a refreshing take on our music today. It needs to be spot on though or there will be a train wreck. I’m looking forward to music from Black Panther for a new take on superhero music. (Yeah, I know these are two different comic universes)
My Overall Take
Wonder Woman was great. I still love her main theme and the new one created for this movie was enchanting. I hope that we will see her again in a sequel, and even if with the Justice League, I hope that she will continue to shine as a true contender in the superhero world of music.