What if its soundtrack is Hans Zimmer’s best soundtrack?

The relationship between Christopher Nolan and Hans Zimmer has always worked wonders, but especially The Dark Knight Rises.

When faced with superhero dominance in the cinema, one question arises among many others: why? music often seems disembodied and unforgettable After all, it’s not as if the constant flashbacks of the same characters in ever-greater crossovers aren’t supposed to blast their share of epic leitmotiv in all directions.

However, aside from a few counterexamples (starting with the well-rehearsed Avengers theme), little experimentation has impressed the public in recent years. If brilliant cameraman Tony Zhou has plotted this problem within the MCU, DC shouldn’t be left behind. water man or some Shazam from sad memory.

However, the DCEU relied heavily on Hans Zimmer, the contemporary patron saint of the soundtrack, who set the tone with his minimalist and heavy notes. Strong man. Whether we like the approach or not, we can’t take away the consistency with Zack Snyder’s film and the striking power the Germanic musician has inherited from his previous compositions with Christopher Nolan.

However, when we consider the greatest works of this beloved Hans, it is hard to overlook. size The Dark Knight RisesThis prompted him to do more to do justice to the recent adventures of Christian Bale’s The Dark Knight. Therefore, there was a very good opportunity not to return to this legendary album, which may help us better understand why the competition is struggling to accelerate.


From who?

We talked about it in our article about the soundtrack.Beginning, but Hans Zimmer completely changed the way the soundtrack is watched. With his famous RCP studio (for Remote Control Productions), an entire school he founded. Example is king there, ostinati takes precedence over a particular melodic piece, and sound design tends to mingle with more traditional instruments.

On the one hand, experiments are often suggested, but on the other hand, the predominance of an orchestra recreated by the computer (especially to better accommodate editing changes) significantly weakens a musical theory approach that has been reduced to a trickle.

Hans Zimmer : Photo by Hans ZimmerHans Zimmer and his orchestra in the background

Thus, this standardization of soundtrack is not inevitable if some perceive in the approach of Zimmer and his apprentices the simple boom boom electro-orchestral trend in which everything is alike. On the contrary, Zimmer proved, alongside a great filmmaker, that he could set new standards, such as the famous flat tones of French horns.Beginning.

Actually, the director of the trilogy Black Knight He found a privileged collaborator with the composer, but created a tandem with the composer James Newton Howard. Batman Begins and Black Knight. facing musical successBeginningJNH has decided to withdraw The Dark Knight Rises, probably because he was afraid to hold the candle. And maybe that’s why Zimmer let the horses go completely free in this final episode…

The Dark Knight Rises: photo by Christian BaleHello, did you want delicacy?

cloaked and tempered

As in the first two episodes, the soundtrack The Dark Knight Rises begins with a pure sound design effect: the echo of a breath representing the Black Knight’s cloak. two introductory pieces, A Storm is Coming and on thin iceTake advantage of this recognizable sole to walk better on eggshells. The storm is approaching and Batman is no longer what he used to be. Its minimalist leitmotif of two-note ascension is drowned out in a refined orchestration based on sad synthesizers and violins.

The composer is not content to shape a rise in power, but imposes from these previews a note of the intention of his work. Reworking the Batman theme in this way, Zimmer focuses less on music than it does on music. full soundscape of a movieto the point where his empirical findings flow into the narrative and vice versa.

In the 2010s, the German composer also had fun blurting the line between diegesis (a movie’s universe) and extra diegesis (that exists outside of a movie’s universe, like music). In Strong man For example, the General Zod theme shares dubstep sounds used to characterize the terraforming machine in the movie’s final scene.

But a year before The New Adventures of Superman, Zimmer transcends that idea with the Bane theme and the sound team chanting a call to revolution. The basis for synth synthesizers to the organ melodies of the piece Gotham’s Showdown brass and percussion move like a slow snake to strike before releasing in rhythm with this free chorus (also Fire Rising).

Both a metonym for the character’s anger and a reflection of his use of populist rhetoric, this musical idea already gives all the keys to understanding his iconic villain. But Zimmer goes even further, because this song is overflowing with extra diegesis The prisoners of the well where Bruce Wayne was imprisoned sing this song regularly, to impose themselves on history.

The words “Deshi Basara” (from an Arabic dialect kept secret by the composer) translates the idea of ​​ascension (the title’s famous “Rise”) and motivates the hero during his escape. As if to better indicate the relationship between these two enemies, the musician thus conceals the means of re-symbolizing his hero in his enemy’s contact.

The Dark Knight Rises: photo by Tom HardyWhen Hans Zimmer arrived at his concert


The same kind of experiments can be observed in: cat woman theme, the other new member of this section. with piece Can I cut it?Hans Zimmer offers a mischievous dimension to his thief with his hoarsely volatile piano notes.

here again, the sound design is mixed with this melodic piece, because the rhythmic base rests on a tinkling sound, as if we are perceiving the movement of a character whose pockets are full of colliding coins. Through the eternal ostinati, the composer conveys a constant escape, a sense of urgency, in harmony with a heroine who wants to escape from her past.

All these beautiful people thus mingle with the successes of previous works, and more specifically the various iterations of the Batman theme. To tell the truth, Hans Zimmer The Dark Knight Rises a balance he has struggled to maintain since then between his purely experimental suggestions and his composition tics and ways of integrating organically.

here, all main motifs are designed to be flexible when requested, and exploited in bursts of pure action nagging. He may surrender to certain possibilities, but he does so with such energy that it is impossible to hide his pleasure. Paradoxically, some of the best pieces The Dark Knight Rises like it’s not on the album No Unturned Stonesthe climax of the movie and the final follow-up to Batwing’s truck containing the nuclear bomb.

All the main themes of the movie are at the heart of the hard bass lines and ever-increasing arcs, using their machine gun delivery to better bring an orgasmic rise in mid-range power.

All this makes you think about the physical response this soundtrack provides. As evidenced by some covers of Zimmer’s songs (eg. TDKRJunkie XL covers Bane’s theme in entertainment Bombers Over Ibiza).

The approach is sometimes limited, but the artist’s compositions are at their best, with their repetitive aspects, the power of their percussion, and progressive ensembles of pieces and instruments of all kinds. they draw techno codes. As if trying to give the epic dimension of the movie to the energy of a nightclub, our hearts beat at its BPM. It’s hard not to dwell on it Why do we fall? and Bruce Wayne’s ostinato, whose chest hair has grown since he managed to escape from Bane’s prison.

If only one piece had to be hidden

Of course, the last track on the album is soberly titled raising a childhas the value of marking the end of the trilogy with a form of lament around the theme of Batman, which immortalizes the symbol represented by the superhero. However, in comparison to all that we have been able to say before, we will dwell on it. dream fire, the ultimate piece of courage The Dark Knight Risesand one of the best syntheses of the Zimmer style.

Unless the parkour is really used as in the movie (but we find quotes from it in the final battle and the final duel between Batman and Bane), our dear Hans need not be asked to lay all his eggs. a basket.

Least three different ostinati, the piece is fun, combining Batman and Bane themes with wonderful penetrating bass bumps (synths and other electro-distortion effects), exhausted brass, and strings swirling in all directions. It’s epic, nag, it makes you want to get a deep sound and have your arms blown up. In short, everything you expect from a Batman score.


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