What If Hans Zimmer Scored JAWS?

The Zimmer Factory's overbearing, generic bombast has been placed over Spielberg's classic movie as a lesson in suck.

I am not a big score guy; that's why we have ScoreKeeper around, to write intelligently about movie music. But I do know that I find modern movie scores to be mostly boring, entirely repetitive and absolutely samey. It's amazing to realize that once upon a time there was a diversity to movie scores and that scores were used not as a background drone or in place of filmmaking but in counterpoint, in commentary or in addition to what was going on onscreen. And movies weren't always drenched in score from the first frame to the last! Oh how things have changed.

One of the things that have changed is Hans Zimmer, who has essentially taken over the movie scoring landscape. Not only does he and his factory score a ton of movies every year, other composers have begun aping his style, and we have a world where memorable melodies have left movie scores, replaced by driving moments that work in trailers. 

This video is a little old, but I just discovered it and fell in love with it. I recently rewatched Jaws and was amazed at the restraint in the score; the film isn't saturated with music and many of the best scenes play out without any music at all. The music isn't wallpaper, although it gets more prominent as the Orca heads to sea. It occured me to on this rewatch that as the Orca pulls away from Amity that cinema was pulling away from the 70s; Spielberg's film begins with a naturalistic tone and morphs into something much more approximating the kind of action/adventure that would become the norm in later decades (although done exquisitely, and with a complete and total emphasis on character and with expert filmmaking). 

In the real Jaws this scene has plenty of John Williams music on it, and while it has some bombast it works in the moment. And Spielberg has Williams drop away at the 'Smile you son of a bitch' line, realizing the absence of music here punctuates the moment. In the Zimmer parody version you can't even hear the line, and the explosion of the shark is matched with a totally over the top swell in the music. It's sort of perfect.