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Wonder Woman
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Composed, Co-Orchestrated, and Produced by:
Rupert Gregson-Williams

Co-Orchestrated and Conducted by:
Alastair King

Additional Music by:
Andrew Kawczynski
Tom Howe
Evan Jolly
Paul Mounsey
Thomas Farnon

Existing Theme by:
Hans Zimmer
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WaterTower Music
(June 2nd, 2017)
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Regular U.S. release.
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Decorative Nonsense
(inverts site colors)

   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if the power anthems of Hans Zimmer's vintage Media Ventures/Remote Control days remain close to your heart, because this score shamelessly resurrects countless old favorites with minimal intelligence attempted.

Avoid it... if brainless phrasing of thematic constructs drives you just as nutty as the reality of wasting a perfect opportunity for a female composer to take the helm of a major blockbuster score.
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WRITTEN 7/4/17
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Wonder Woman: (Rupert Gregson-Williams/Various) In no small part due to the male-dominated tilt of the comic books that inspire them, there has been sadly little feminine heroism on display in the first few decades of the post-2000 Hollywood superhero renaissance. The DC character of Wonder Woman had inspired filmmakers to test the production waters since the mid-1990's, though, with a variety of famous directors and lead actresses rumored to be attached to the concept, including everyone from Lucy Lawless to Sandra Bullock supposedly starring. The character's overdue introduction into the DC Extended Universe of pictures came with 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the first of many contractual appearances set for actress Gal Gadot, who stirred up a little controversy due to her past in the Israeli military and launched all the usual feminist grumbling about femdom fantasies. One also has to wonder why, in this day and age, male superhero actors often pack on 15 pounds of muscle for a lead role while a female superhero actress instead focuses on simply tightening up those glutes. (Let's face it, Gadot isn't appearing on the cover of "Oxygen" or "Strong" magazines.) The production did take measures to employ a female director, Patty Jenkins conducting herself admirably and guiding 2017's Wonder Woman to immense critical praise, box office triumph, and immediate plans for multiple sequels. In the plot of this establishing story, the island of Themyscira (probably located in the Aegean Sea, but who knows?) is shown to be the home of an Amazon race of warrior women left in solitude by the gods of Mount Olympus to eventually save humanity from Ares, the God of War. During World War I, however, the film shows the Germans discovering the island and an American pilot rescued by soon-to-be Wonder Woman Diana Prince. The two set off to foil the war, fornicate along the way, and determine the role of Ares in all the ruckus.

From a general perspective, Wonder Woman would seem to be no different from any other comic book hero when considering its soundtrack, but this film did present a few challenges. First, its setting in 1918 doesn't exactly lend itself conducive to the usual Hans Zimmer-led Remote Control Productions pounding of the 2010's, nor does that sound really resonate with a female heroine. Second, you have an existing Zimmer theme for the character from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice that was largely unworkable as a broader identity. Finally, you have the undeniable fact that this assignment was the perfect opportunity for a female composer to helm a major Hollywood action blockbuster. There was a fan-led campaign for a woman to score this picture, and even Zimmer himself was an advocate for that idea. The perfect candidate would have been Debbie Wiseman, whose outrageously ballsy duo of Arsène Lupin and Lesbian Vampire Killers qualified her immensely for this assignment. Of course, given that studios are hopelessly wedded to the Remote Control mythology spawned by Zimmer himself, Wonder Woman's score went to not only an average, penis-endowed RC/Zimmer clone, Rupert Gregson-Williams, but the whole standard team of ghostwriters, conductor, and orchestrators for this score were also born with penises. Not a wondrous choice by any means. This was the time for Zimmer to throw his weight behind his known liberal ideology and actually force a different outcome via his media savvy, and he failed. Had he done so, perhaps Wonder Woman would have benefitted from a score more uniquely appropriate for the character and era of the story. Rupert Gregson-Williams is not the brightest of rising, shining stars to come from Remote Control, both The Legend of Tarzan and Hacksaw Ridge annoyingly underwhelming. His output for Wonder Woman is predictably generic in an RC sense, derivative to the maximum and breaking no glass ceilings musically.

The pre-existing theme for the titular character as coined by Zimmer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was extremely popular and, arguably the highlight of that score. It's relentlessly kick-ass combination of coolly hyperactive underlying rhythm and frenetically zany theme on top was distinct because of its extremely electronic demeanor and unashamed force of will. It stuck with audiences because it was so different from the rest of that otherwise stale, droning and pounding score. The studio was intent upon having that musical property return and guide Wonder Woman, but, as Gregson-Williams and his horde soon figured, the theme is totally unmalleable. You can't really adapt it into a dramatic realm with slower rhythms without dissecting it or making it unrecognizable in some other way. In that regard, the idea remains more appropriate for a villain's identity, because it is singularly focused and lacks three-dimensionality. But the RC team did apply the theme in the expected form of straight reprises in several places in Wonder Woman, trying additionally to separate the rhythm and melody for solo applications elsewhere. To that end, they actually succeeded as well as anyone could have hoped. That franchise fight motif receives its due treatment starting in the middle of "No Man's Land," the snazzy plucked rhythm at 3:08 joined by the theme itself at 3:22. The electric string personality carries over completely intact, and the underlying rhythm offers a really strongly satisfying bass to the later portions of that cue and elsewhere. This is especially the case in "Wonder Woman's Wrath," which gives the rhythm a hefty workout. The RC team sends audiences off with the expected burst of the theme at the end of "Trafalgar Celebration" as well. More interesting are the subtle references to the two parts of this identity spread throughout. Both are hinted early in "Amazons of Themyscira," the rhythm and melody's first four notes and slurring, rising secondary phrase heard at 0:09 and 0:23 respectively. The rhythm peeks through at the end of "History Lesson" and the solo melody returns at 1:04 into "Angel on the Wing." That slurred, groaning secondary phrase of the theme is a recurring background accent.

Ratings Icon
Average: 3.17 Stars
***** 93 5 Stars
**** 102 4 Stars
*** 85 3 Stars
** 80 2 Stars
* 67 1 Stars
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Alternative review at Movie Wave
Southall - July 5, 2017, at 2:56 p.m.
1 comment  (1096 views)

Track Listings Icon
Total Time: 78:40
• 1. Amazons of Themyscira (6:47)
• 2. History Lesson (5:16)
• 3. Angel on the Wing (3:45)
• 4. Ludendorff, Enough! (7:37)
• 5. Pain, Loss & Love (5:27)
• 6. No Man's Land (8:52)
• 7. Fausta (3:20)
• 8. Wonder Woman's Wrath (4:06)
• 9. The God of War (8:02)
• 10. We Are All to Blame (3:11)
• 11. Hell Hath No Fury (3:58)
• 12. Lightning Strikes (3:35)
• 13. Trafalgar Celebration (4:50)
• 14. Action Reaction (5:54)
• 15. To Be Human - performed by Sia and Labrinth (4:00)

Notes Icon
The insert includes extensive credits and a note about the score from the director.
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The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Wonder Woman are Copyright © 2017, WaterTower Music and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 7/4/17 (and not updated significantly since).
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