WaterTower Music’s musical score (digital version) to DC Comics’ Suicide Squad movie features composer Steven Price (The World’s End), who brings new themes and some emotional depth to this rag-tag team villain group who are tasked with defeating a mysterious force within a large city. Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) assembles a team that includes Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Diablo (Jay Hernandez), and Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje). The Joker (Jared Leto), June Moone (Cara Delevingne), and Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) also play prominent roles in the story. Notes: This reviewer saw the movie before reviewing this score and there are also no movie spoilers here.
Price won an Academy Award for best original score in 2013 for Gravity and previously worked with director David Ayer on the World War ll film Fury. Price does not duplicate previous DC Comics film scores, though “You Make My Teeth Hurt” contains some echoes of Hans Zimmer’s Batman theme movements, and a key section of “A Serial Killer Who Takes Credit Cards” sounds eerily like the Kryptonian ship’s rays pounding the Earth during the planetary “conversion” sequence in Man of Steel.
This is not as memorable as Danny Elfman’s or Zimmer’s DC Comics musical scores, but there are some great lengthy pieces with the 80-piece Hollywood Studio Orchestra and a solid overall result (over 73 minutes with 22 songs). Eight bonus tracks are also included and total up to about 21 additional minutes, which puts the grand total over 90 minutes. The bonus tracks add more themes, especially for June Moone, Diablo, and Croc. Highlights of the bonus tracks are “Did That Tickle?”, “Enchantress in the War Room”, and “I Promise My Friends”.
Price mixes calmer emotions with rambunctious action plus character themes and relationships (the Joker and Harley Quinn). Price does not use many effects (police siren at the beginning of “Hey Craziness”) or vocals (a few distorted segments create interesting tones, assuming relating to Quinn), but listeners won’t be able to distinguish any words).
The score has dark themes for the Joker but more playful elements for Quinn. These two become one musically in “Harley and Joker”, which is followed by a big action piece, “This Bird Is Baked”, that injects more emotion into their relationship.
The beginning piece, “Task Force X”, uses keyboards and strings to establish the tone. It gets listeners’ attention and feels a bit like a cross between the Batman/Dark Knight films and an NFL football theme. “Arkham Asylum” and “I’m Going to Figure This Out” slowly build more themes for listeners (and audiences). Later, “The Squad” reincorporates these themes well and starts providing some familiarity through the repetition.
“Brother Our Time Has Come” inserts some strong emotion and then elevates to a very high level in “That’s How I Cut and Run”, which matches the filmed action and visuals very well. The latter composition definitely enhances the corresponding sequence in this movie.
Price begins an impressive six-piece, action-filled stretch with “The Squad” that ends with “The Worst of the Worst”. Predictably, the titles in this stretch might give away the movie’s story during the climatic sequences. “One Bullet Is All I Need” showcases the impressive string section performances here. These pieces definitely enhance action and might prompt some listeners to add these pieces to their workout music mixes.
This decent score comes recommended with reservations, as it offers plenty of content but falls a bit short on making memorable music. This WaterTower Music release is a great deal on digital formats and is also available on CD. The Suicide Squad music soundtrack is also available and includes songs from Twenty One Pilots, Skrillex, Eminem, Kehlani, Grimes, and Panic! at the Disco.