Michael Giacchino: One of the Greats
A movie’s score is often the most overlooked aspect of the movie, with the things you can see taking greater focus. Despite this, there are composers who have elevated their art form to a place where it must be recognized. And one of those composers is Michael Giacchino.
These things tend to have a reason, so why him, and why now? Simple answer: Spider-Man. For those of you who are living in the wilderness, Spider-Man: No Way Home premiered mid-December (go watch it if you haven’t), and among the many things the movie does, it marks the first time in the MCU that one composer has composed the score for all the installments of a movie (there are four Avengers movies and Alan Silvestri only did three). So why is the score for No Way Home important? Because it got me thinking. When we think of iconic composers, we think of the likes of John Williams and Hans Zimmer. And while I am not suggesting that Michael is on the same level as those guys, I don’t think he’s too far behind.
What are my reasons: really just the one. Much like any great film score composer, Giacchino’s body of work is immense. In addition to the Homecoming trilogy, he has such titles as Mission Impossible 3 & 4, the rebooted Star Trek, the TV series Lost, The Jurassic World franchise, and Rogue One. Incidentally, the original music for the last two was created by John Williams. He’s also flexible enough to excel in animated work, with the scores for the Incredibles, Up, Inside Out, and Zootopia under his belt. This level of range, from action to animation, superhero movies, even video games (Google Medal of Honor) would be more than enough to cement his name as one of the greatest composers of the 21st Century.
The one possible knock on his undeniably impressive resume is his lack of an iconic theme. John has Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park and so much more. Hans has the eternal Pirates of the Caribbean theme, as well as Nolan’s Batman. And while, yes, Giacchino doesn’t have a “Star Wars” or “Jack Sparrow” level theme, I’d argue that he doesn’t need it. Inside Out doesn’t need an iconic theme to be an iconic score. Neither does The Incredibles. He has enough 8/10 scores that his lack of a “Star Wars” level theme (and it could be argued that the popularity of the themes have as much to do with the fanbase as the music itself) doesn’t really harm his case for a spot in the Film Composer Hall of Fame.
Is Michael Giacchino the greatest composer of all time? No. But he is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the greatest composers of the 21st Century.