THE DARK KNIGHT RISES - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2012)

With the conclusion of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, we can safely say that German composer Hans Zimmer epitomizes the sound of the very troubled and emotional caped crusader. From 2005’s Batman Begins and 2008’s The Dark Knight, the Oscar winning composer has created a sound which film fans can easily identify with. With the latest score composed for The Dark Knight Rises, Zimmer has come full circle.

There are two new main themes in this 51 minute album. These belong to the two new villains featured in the film. After a brooding “A Storm is Coming” and “On Thin Ice”, Bane’s theme “Gotham’s Reckoning” comes at you in the face. The brashly unabashed composition brings out the towering baddie’s “do not mess with me” attitude, with its big, loud and angrily repetitive thumps and chants.

“Mind if I Cut In” is Selina Kyle/ Catwoman’s (notice how the film never refers to Anne Hathaway’s character to the latter?) theme. The sleekly cunning cue fuses strings, piano and the occasional tambourine to have you picturing the catty character slinking around the corner. It’s a shame the theme does not recur in the rest of the album though. 

Therein lies the issue with this soundtrack – there isn’t much new material, especially if you are familiar with the music on the previous two albums in the successful film franchise. The following tracks on the album, be it the brazen “The Fire Rises”, the impetuous “Fear Will Find You” or the hard hitting “Imagine the Fire” are wonderful action cues, but somewhat lack originality and innovation. Therepetitive chant of the phrase "deshi, deshi, basara, basara", which, according to Zimmer himself, means "rise, rise, up, up”, is a nice touch to the score though.

What we also miss is James Newton Howard’s voice in the music. The co composer in the previous two films had chosen to opt out in this third instalment of the series, stating thatNolan and Zimmer had established such good chemistry working on 2011’s Inception, and he didn’t want to be a third wheel. Maybe Batman’s sound would have benefited from a little more soul with Newtown Howard’s inclusion. For now, we’d have to do with Zimmer’s signature fusion of traditional orchestra arrangements with electronic music sounds for the caped crusader.


Recommended Track: (3) Gotham's Reckoning

Review by John Li


A Storm Is Coming
On Thin Ice
Gotham's Reckoning
Mind If I Cut In?
Underground Army
Born In Darkness
The Fire Rises
Nothing Out There
Fear Will Find You
Why Do We Fall?
12 Death By Exile
13 Imagine The Fire
14 Necessary Evil
15 Rise



Composer: Hans Zimmer
Label: Watertower Music
Release Date: July 17, 2012