Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Iron Man 2 Score [2010]



Academy Award® nominated composer John Debney reunites with director Jon Favreau for the 3rd time (Elf, Zathura) for IRON MAN 2. I’m sure most of you have seen the sequel, released on May 7th. The score album however, which was recorded at Abbey Road in London, will be available through Sony Classical on July 7th. Our friend Jeremy Caesar who’s an original score aficionado has been kind enough to share his excellent review of Debney’s latest work. Check it out after this jump…

Jon Favreau delivered one of the most refreshing super hero movies with 2008’s Iron Man. Robert Downey Jr. effortlessly inhabited Tony Stark, the oft-improvised dialogue and humor grounded the characters as well as their story, and though the action and ending were respectively sparse and anticlimactic, the narrative was substantial enough to keep the audience involved. All cylinders were firing save for one, and that was Ramin Djawadi’s score.

It’s hard to blame either Djawadi or Favreau for Iron Man’s uninspired musical landscape. The implementation of simple electric guitar riffs just reeks of studio interference. I can just hear them saying, “Electric guitars are cool, right? Put those in!” And while the first score did enhance the inherent coolness of Tony Stark, it never evolved much beyond that. With Iron Man 2, Favreau managed to get his right hand man John Debney to compose a score that thankfully surpasses its predecessor.


There’s an immediate difference in the way John Debney approached the score for Iron Man 2. Where the first score was scant in orchestral involvement, Debney ratchets up the grandeur by including strings, horns, and percussion, giving the score a fuller sound and added weight that Djawadi never had the chance to accomplish. The film also deals with more dramatic subject matter and Debney doesn’t shy away from giving the score those darker shades. In the film’s opening sequence Russian baddie Ivan Vanko constructs his suit of electronic whips and Debney builds on the driving trombones, synth, and choir giving the scene a tangible sense of foreboding.

Amidst the score’s serious nature, there’s still a lot of fun to be had. This is Iron Man we’re talking about after all. Debney takes the garage rock sensibilities that were established in the first film, keeping with Tony Stark’s narcissistic rock star nature, and takes them to a new level of maturity. Here it sounds like a natural progression of the score instead of a forced studio decision. Action sequences are consistently engaging and often eclectic. Debney scores the set piece at Monaco’s raceway with a slow sense of urgency that later turns into a frenzied whirlwind. At times it’s reminiscent of John Williams’ writing. The drone battle at the end of the film is bigger and louder but manages to tell a story as well as boast Iron Man’s heroic qualities.

Debney impressively gives Iron Man 2 themes, which were sorely lacking in the first film. Tony Stark and Pepper Potts are given a love theme that’s first heard when Stark bestows the title of CEO to Potts. Vanko’s also given a menacing theme that’s present whenever he is. Iron Man is also given a bombastic motif whenever he’s at battle.


John Debney definitely delivers with Iron Man 2. It’s always great to see a composer take the score from a franchise’s initial film and inject it with his own vision as well as move the sound forward. Hans Zimmer did this with the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, and John Debney follows suit here. It isn’t the greatest super hero score we’ve received, it probably wouldn’t make it in my top ten, but the improvements he made over Djawadi’s contribution earn him a great deal of respect in my book.


01. Ivan’s Metamorphosis
02. House Fight MK1
03. Making Pepper CEO
04. Senate / Ivan Creates Drones
05. Make Way For Tomorrow Expo
06. Rhodey Dons Suit
07. Dying Hero
08. Natalie Intro Rhodey / Tony Talk
09. Monaco Drive
10. Monaco
11. Jailhouse Talk
12. Ivan Escapes
13. Gun Show
14. Tony Discover Dad’s Secret
15. Sledgehammer MK2
16. Nick Fury
17. New Element / Particle Accelerator
18. Sledgehammer MK1
19. New RT / To The Expo
20. Black Widow Kicks Ass
21. Iron Man Battles the Drones
22. Ivan Demise / The Kiss
23. Thor
24. I Am Iron Man
25. Expo Theme (Bonus Track)

Total Time: 01:12:42

Enjoy and have a nice day.


  1. 65MB 128kbps

  2. 320 kbps


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