Musical Score By: Bear McCreary
Distributed by: Lakeshore Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
In the science fiction comedy, Colossal, Anne Hathaway is Gloria, an unemployed party girl whose relationship troubles cause her to move back to her hometown to get her life back in order. She reconnects with childhood friend Oscar (Jason Sudeikis), now a bar owner, and resumes her drinking life. But one particular drunken night, something happens to Gloria. Shockingly, she discovers that she has a connection to a creature who is attacking Seoul, South Korea on a nightly basis – the creature is actually mimicking Gloria’s movements. When another, more devastatingly destructive creature appears, it’s time for Gloria to step up and save the day.
The musical score of Colossal was created by American composer Bear McCreary. Best known for his work on the Battlestar Galactica series, McCreary has been the go-to man for many a television series score and has created music for such notables as The Walking Dead, Da Vinci’s Demons, Outlander, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Black Sails. But McCreary doesn’t only create music for television. In fact, he has amassed quite a movie score resume as well, including 10 Cloverfield Lane, Forest, The Boy, Europa Report, God of War, Unrest and Rebel in the Rye.
In creating the music for Colossol, the composer “chose to focus the music entirely on Gloria. We witness the fantastic events through her eyes, so I generally chose to score her reaction to the events, rather than the events themselves…I wanted the score to feel almost schizophrenic for the first hour of the film. Like, some edgy indie rock band scored half of it, and a classically trained orchestral composer scored the other half. Then, as the film progresses, the two musical styles merge to form a coherent vision.” This would go well with Gloria’s drink induced perceptions of events around her.
Thus, the score is actually a bit ominous, featuring a mix of strings, electric guitars, electric beats and sounds. We get the impression that Gloria’s life is not quite a party…or rather a party gone wrong that she can’t seem to find her way out of. The music takes a bluesy rock turn with The Most Irresponsible Thing, but quickly moves back to that otherworldly dark and dangerous sound. Funny enough, the final two tracks on the Colossal Soundtrack are the first tracks Bear McCreary wrote for the film: “It was vitally important that the score deliver an epic, soaring finale, without overpowering or destroying the tone of the film. The last 12 minutes of the film was the first thing I wrote. Once the final reel was approved by the director and studio it was an easier process to reverse engineer the rest of the score.” He simply built the rest of the score around the Colossal Finale. which takes place in two parts, one describing the epic battle and one detailing the moments after the battle is won.
As always, Bear McCreary creates a musical score is quite intriguing and has that epic battle feel to it that works so well with the visuals of the film. Even more interesting is that the score works perfectly as a standalone album, telling the story of some invisible individual facing adversity and somehow overcoming it victoriously. The Colossal Soundtrack makes a great listen whether or not you plan on seeing the film.