Soundtrack Review: Batman Begins
By Mark Sung Jun 16, 2005, 15:43 GMT
With a strange looking track list based on the various species of bats, the soundtrack opens with ‘Vespertilio’ which introduces the first of two main recurring themes. Starting with a heavy percussive rhythm, a fast alternating string rhythm soon takes over as a two-note brass chord fades in and out. This two-tone chord motif will be one of the recurring themes of the score.
The first action cue is provided in the energetic track ‘Myotis,’ which underscores Bruce Wayne’s escape from The League of Shadows. The cue also introduces the other main recurring theme in the form of a string performance underscored by a driving percussive rhythm.
This theme is reprised again in the next track 'Barbastella' in a softer version performed by a vocal and piano solo. The previous alternating string rhythm returns and is eventually joined by the two-tone chord motif to mark the pivotal moment when Bruce Wayne begins to realize his destiny.
Some interesting sound designs in tracks such as ‘Artibeus’ and ‘Tadarida’ provide some disturbing sounding moments to reflect the effects of the Scarecrow’s hallucinogenic chemicals.
Other highlights include the action cues in tracks such as ‘Molossus’ and ‘Antrozous.’
The soundtrack comes to an end with the stirring track ‘Lasiurus,’ which closes with the same heavy percussive rhythm used at the beginning of the score.
Unlike your typical superhero soundtrack which is usually dominated by strong heroic statements, this score focuses more on the mood and emotions of the characters. The frequent use of the alternating string rhythm motif helps to give the soundtrack an interesting unsettled feeling. The different styles of Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard compliment each other to create themes that reflect the complexities of Batman’s character.