Does Age of Ultron sound familiar to you? We don't mean the title; we're talking score here, folks. If anything about the musical twists and turns that follow our heroes rings a bell, well, it probably should.
That's because it's co-composed by none other than Danny Elfman. Dude has so many credits to his name, he's going to need a second IMDB page pretty soon. Suffice it to say that the man who wrote the theme for The Simpsons, Spider Man 3, and practically every Tim Burton movie ever is bringing some serious street cred to the sound booth. Together with Brian Tyler (who also wrote the music for Iron Man 3), Elfman is firmly at the helm of our emotional roller coaster as we move from chaotic fight scene to reflective interlude, and back again.
Check out, for example, the film's opening sequence. Right from the jump we're off and running, as the Avengers pummel their way through Sokovian woods toward Baron von Strucker. To highlight the awesomeness of the heroes' power, Elfman and Tyler use bright, explosive brass, punctuating their moves with an almost military flourish. Seems appropriate, if you ask us.
What's more interesting is to listen in for those transitions, though. Once Iron Man busts into the research lab, steps out of his suit, and starts poking around for Loki's scepter, those over-the-top flourishes fade away. Now the brass instruments get low and ominous, and some high violins come over the top to really build the suspense.
Need another mood change? No problem. From the lab we're back outside, only instead of a battle we now see Black Widow trying to calm down Hulk by gently touching her hand. To punctuate the tenderness of this moment, a lone piano comes onto the scene, plunking a few bright notes to highlight the fragility of this connection. Elfman and Tyler are fast on their musical feet, taking us through emotional highs to lulls (and back again) without ever derailing our experience.