Christian Ryan’s review published on Letterboxd:
Maybe I was just spoiled growing up with the likes of John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner, and Alan Silvestri, but it seems to me that Hollywood (i.e., The Walt Disney Company) has just completely given up on writing music for its big budget spectacles. There’s nothing here but textural orchestration (save for a few bars of the Avengers theme, which to my ears, is the only recognizable refrain produced for the entirety of Marvel’s cinematic crop).
This is Spider-Man, for Peter’s sake! You couldn’t be bothered to come up with a heroic little melody? A few bars is all you need. Hell, why not lift it from the 60’s cartoon? Now there’s a catchy little jingle!
What we’ve got here are stock cues to compliment the stock action, stock characters, and stock story.
Once upon a time, Disney actually gave a fuck. They had no choice. Before they owned every studio, each release was a gamble, and in order to survive in the creatively competitive market, they had to make a real effort. Take any random property of theirs from the 80’s and 90’s… let’s see here… I’m just gonna google a list of… okay, here we go: The Rescuers Down Under. Pull that up and play the first ten minutes of the soundtrack album. Listen to that rich, sweeping composition! The majestic clarity of the central melody! For a goddamn sequel about mystery-solving mice!
This Spider-Man score, and every other big budget score the machine churns out today, is what happens when a company is relieved of the burden of having to give a fuck. And why are they unburdened? Well, in large part because somewhere along the way WE also stopped giving a fuck.
It may seem like a trifling thing, a phoned-in soundtrack, but this is a legitimately disturbing trend. It’s happening in every industry on the planet - we are being bought and sold to the lowest bidder for not giving a fuck. Tech. Oil. Healthcare. Real Estate. Why would Hollywood, of all industries, not exploit our collective shrug?
Spider-Man’s score is emblematic of the systemic decay that is corroding our society. We do not protest it. We do not fight it.
We welcome it.
We fund it.
We cheer it on.
Simply put, Spider-Man’s score is no less than the dirge of our civilization.
It is The End of Everything.