Director Bryan Singer and composer John Ottman's take on the world's most recognizable superhero is one of deep reverence. Like Steven Spielberg and John Williams, the two have found their muse in each other, especially after their success with the second installment of the X-Men series, but what sets them apart from other iconic director/composer pairings is Ottman's co-role as an editor -- he showed his musicality in the editing room on X2 with an exhilarating opening ballet of violence set to Mozart's Requiem. Ottman and Singer are well aware that Williams' original score for Richard Donner's 1978 depiction of the man of steel is as etched into the character's mythology as the "S" on his chest, so they built the new score around it. The new themes are deep and resonant with a Copland-esque tinge of sepia-toned Americana that never descends into unnecessary melodrama -- think Michael Kamen's Band of Brothers theme -- and a brooding sense of wonder and weight that echoes Danny Elfman's choral work on the Spider Man films. This Superman feels a lot more like a conflicted defender of the world than a bespectacled reporter relying on pratfalls and phone booths for audience chuckles, and Ottman fills his Metropolis with a perfect balance of dread and wonder, while allowing Williams' majestic and iconic theme to soar when it should.
AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger