top of page
  • Stefan Riedlinger

Star Trek Beyond - Michael Giacchino - Soundtrack Review

This is the second review of a score by Michael Giacchino on my website, and I have to say I really begin to like this composer and his way of composing. I watched “Star Trek Beyond” in Berlin while I was there for a weekend trip taking the Ielts English test, and after that, I need a break and went to a movie theatre at Berlin Alexanderplatz, the former East Part of the city.

The movie

I am still not a big fan of the 3D movies. In my opinion, it is just another way of money making, and most movies you can watch in 2D and also have fun. I remember seeing Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo Cabret”, and it was amazing, but because of the fact that Scorsese knew how to use 3D. Most movies these days are not worth the extra money for 3D. Seeing the new Star Trek, I was more astonished what computer effects can now create, holy shit! This scene when the Enterprise approaches the Yorktown and the effects there, that was really amazing!

Here one trailer:

“Star Trek Beyond” is the thirteenth film in the Star Trek franchise and the third movie in the reboot series. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto repeat their roles, and also Anton Yelchins repeated his role for Chekov. Unfortunately, he died shortly after finishing the movie, and I heard that for the next movie, no new actor will step into his role. Simon Pegg repeats his role as Scotty and was also co-author of the script.

For me, it was very interesting that two of the long awaited blockbuster of this season use the idea of a swarm, the sequel to “ID4”, and now the new Star Trek, but why not? Even though, I still prefer the original Star Trek series because of the cast, the old charm and the sometimes great story-telling, the new “Star Trek” movies are really good ones, and especially this one is in my opinion better than the last one because I was so disappointed by the performance of the Khan actor.

The music

This soundtrack was also one of the most awaited this year, and I have to say it is a great one. Giacchino is just great in developing his melodies and using the full force of the orchestra. The first track “Logo and Prosper” is one of the highlights. I really like the dark tone and the percussion here before we hear then the theme for the reboot series. The next highlight is the second track “Thank Your Lucky Star Date”; the usage of the piano reminds me of Jerry Goldsmith’s last soundtrack to the franchise.

I found a nice video for the soundtrack:

And the third highlight is just the next track, “Night on the Yorktown”, this second longest piece is for me the best track, and I keep listening to this over and over again. This is such an epic track, and I really like how Giacchino developed the dramaturgical structure of this piece, the choir might be a little bit too much, but for me, this is the best track on the CD.

With the next tracks, we are coming closer to the action part. I still have some trouble with the way how Giacchino writes his action pieces such as “A Swarm Reception”. I am always missing that he is composing a straight forward action track; sometimes I think his way of composing is a little bit too complex.

Track 6 “Hitting the Saucer a Little Hard” is the longest track. Again an action track, and again, Giacchino uses the full force of the orchestra. After the Enterprise is attacked, the track slowly down with a more lyrical part.

I have some trouble to recommend one track from the following ones. There is not really a musical highlight I can recommend, track 7 “Jaylah Damage”, for example, is interesting because of the percussion, track 10 “A Lesson in Vulcan Mineralogy” is nice because of the usage of the flute in the last minute of the track, and track 11 “Motor Cycles Of Relief” is another action track in the typical busy Giacchino style, perhaps the best action track of the score.

The following three tracks are good action pieces, but I have to say they are sometimes too noisy for me. I miss a great second theme that Giacchino could use to make his action tracks in this score more enjoyable.

So, mostly I skip the action tracks when I am listening to this score. I really like track 17 “Par-tay for the Course” because of the piano part at the beginning, and then we have the last track with the main theme.

Overall, this score is a nice one. I recommend buying it because of the first three tracks; the other ones are just a matter of taste. When I am listening to Giacchino’s action tracks, I feel that he is highly skilled as a composer, but perhaps he should learn how to compose straight forward and highly dynamic action tracks such as the one’s of Jerry Goldsmith. Think of Goldsmith’s Rambo scores: great themes, very lyrical, too, and great, straight forward action tracks. I still miss this kind of music when I am listening to Giacchino’s action music, but that is just my opinion.

And now, I will go back to “Night on the Yorktown”….

Copyright © Stefan Riedlinger, 2016, all rights reserved. The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Stefan Riedlinger.

Jerry Goldsmith First Knight.png
Next review...
Latest reviews...
bottom of page