SCORE REVIEW- Suicide Squad

Disclaimer: This is a review for the score of Suicide Squad, not the soundtrack, hence the change in title. 

Back in 2013, a little-known composer named Steven Price wowed us with the music to Gravity, a score that was groundbreaking through its use of numerous obscure instruments and multi-layered mixing. He ended up with an Oscar plus critical acclaim and went on to score another David Ayer film, Fury. Price was set to score Ant-Man until director Edgar Wright left the project and the composer went with him. Three years after Gravity, Price finally makes his superhero film debut, teaming up with Ayer again for the score to Suicide Squad.

Going in, I was optimistic the young composer would do another fantastic job, but how would it compare to his previous works? Considering the film’s subject matter and tone, would he go fully “crazy” or be more traditional? Well, we can lay all those questions to rest. I am happily relieved to say Price has made yet another stunning work and a superhero score worthy of the film it’s in.

From the start, Price pulls influences from different scores and his own past works. One track sounds like something along the lines of a Hans Zimmer/Ramin Dijadwi piece, the next harkens back to Gravity‘s ethereal tones. Price clearly learned from his previous scores and his multi-layered style is heard all across the music, sometimes more present than others.

A full complement of instruments brings this to life, including an 80-piece orchestra, synthesizers, drums, guitars, keyboards, a choir, and other things I’ve never heard of! In short: it throws in everything plus the kitchen sink.

The result? Suicide Squad doesn’t really sound like a score in superhero film, but that’s terrific. Its a welcome gust of fresh air to a group of scores choc-full of loud drums, brass and thundering strings. Don’t get me wrong, the score does get fast and exciting, but Price compliments those moments with quieter, reflective pieces that wouldn’t sound out of place in a drama.

And perhaps that’s the score’s greatest strength: it has variety. Nowhere here will you find one underlying beat through every track, as some superhero scores are so keen to do, instead different themes pop up throughout, making the score that much more accessible.

The best film scores are the ones you can listen to whenever you want and Suicide Squad is among that long list. Steven Price proves again that he’s one of the most unique composers to come along in recent memory, writing a score that both fans of the film and movie fans in general will enjoy.



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