War of the Worlds
"War of the Worlds "
Score Composed by John Williams
Audio Clips: None

The venerable John Williams returns to collaborate with Steven Spielberg on "War of the Worlds", one of many summer blockbusters that have made its way to theaters in 2005. With Episode 3 freshly under his belt, this score is a complete 180 degree turn from what sci-fi fans experienced with "Revenge of the Sith."

The best introduction I can give someone who has not heard this score apart from the movie is this -- it's a soundtrack that offers an abundance of chase music, dark overtones, and very brief snippets of the vintage melodic style that John Williams is known for. It begins and ends with dialogue from narrator Morgan Freeman, and in between, there is a whole lot of menace to dig into.

I'm not typically a fan of tense horror music, so that already works against me with this score. Williams writes music that fits the angry tone of the picture, and does so with polish. It's just not the type of music I would listen to again on a regular basis, if at all. That said, if you're a fan who embraces the action/horror genre of film music, you will certainly enjoy what is offered up. No doubt, this score is expertly written.

The highlight track for me is "Return to Boston", which offers fleeting moments of heroic music that offers both mankind and the score itself a bit of hope!These brief moments also make a big impact in the film as this music is played during the scene when the U.S. Army begins to topple the alien invaders. Had the movie featured more sci-fi/warfare scenes as opposed to the human and horror elements, then we fans could have heard an abundance of music similar to this.

In the end, I do have to admit that I was disappointed with the outcome of the film and score. It's an uninspiring experience when dealing with both. While that's normally fine for a summer film offering mindless entertainment, it's not acceptable to me when it's Spielberg and Williams that we're dealing with. And especially so when dealing with classic material!

Final Score: Effective, disinteresting score for a subpar Spielberg blockbuster.

Grade: C+

1. Prologue 2:52
2. The Ferry Scene 5:49
3. Reaching the Country 3:24
4. The Intersection Scene 4:13
5. Ray and Rachel 2:41
6. Escape from the City 3:49
7. Probing the Basement 4:12
8. Refugee Status 3:50
9. The Attack on the Car 2:44
10. The Separation of the Family 2:36
11. The Confrontation with Ogilvy 4:34
12. The Return to Boston 4:29
13. Escape from the Basket 9:21
14. The Reunion 3:16
15. Epilogue 3:11
Total Time: 61:01