Hans Zimmer’s pairing with Lorne Balfe is a weird little score and seems to follow former’s occasional switch to the particular styles of certain iconic Italian composers. With Matchstick Men (2003), Zimmer crafted a punchy score evocative of Nino Rota, but the animated evil alien film Megamind is a different animal.
Zimmer and Balfe have deliberately created a theme (“Giant Blue Head,” and the light and mellow “Roxanne Theme” variation) that could’ve been penned by Ennio Morricone in 1972 for any one of the farces, action films or giddy romances that that year.
Other cues are written in a more airy, buoyant style, and “Tightenville (Hal’s Theme)” is interesting in the way the melody seems to drift away from its waltz rhythm. There’s also a brief solo piano variation at the beginning of “Mel-On-Cholly” before a switch to action mode with beautifully orchestrated flute and clusters of strings; and the specter of Bernard Herrmann fleetingly emerges in the kinetic “Game Over.”
Interspersed in the album are four source tunes – “Bad to the Bone,” “A Little Less Conversation,” the whiny “Alone Again Naturally,” and the vile tune “Lovin’ You” – which take space away from the score proper. Most of the score cues are theme statements orchestrated to be urgent, lofty, or amiable, so the extra source cuts offer some melodic variation (even though they should’ve been placed together at the CD’s head or tail).
Megamind sometimes sounds like a lighter kissing cousin of John Powell’s Evolution (2001) and guitar-heavy Bolt (2008), but it’s an interesting fusion of Zimmer’s knack for lightness and fast-shifting moods, and his perfect emulation of Ennio Morricone’s frothy melodic style.
© 2010 Mark R. Hasan