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The Wolverine by Marco Beltrami

The Wolverine

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The Wolverine (Soundtrack) by Marco Beltrami
The Wolverine (Soundtrack) by Marco Beltrami











The Wolverine (Soundtrack) by Marco Beltrami

The Wolverine
Composed by Marco Beltrami
Lakeshore Records (2012)

Rating: 8/10

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“THE WOLVERINE is a score made up of cues of such violence and sheer force, that they cannot possibly go unnoticed.”

Review by Richard Buxton


Even for a near-immortal, adamantium-endowed mutant killing-machine, Wolverine has lead quite the chaotic cinematic life. Having fought two world wars, escaped mutant extinction, and slept through his own Origins story, Wolverine now finds himself in Japan and he’s as furious as ever. It’s just as well then that MARCO BELTRAMI has produced a score that is an exercise in near perpetual anger, intensity, and intimidation.

THE WOLVERINE is a divisive score, there can be no doubt of that. Aside from a brief respite towards the score’s conclusion, this score is a long, dark labyrinth of rage. It’s certainly not a score for everyone, but those who find themselves comforted by such imposing orchestral outbursts will certainly be able to find something worth enduring.

HARRY GREGSON WILLIAMS’ score for ORIGINS was hardly a career highlight, but it offered a reasonably accessible experience for those willing to listen. It becomes immediately clear that BELTRAMI’S score is anything but easily accessible, with the brooding of the opening three tracks making for an almost depressing experience. Occasionally, when the orchestra is not gasping for breath during the more intense moments of the score, THE WOLVERINE can admittedly become quite dull. “Euthanasia” (3), “The Offer” (5), and “The Snare” (10) make little impact, and will likely pass by unnoticed when heard during a playthrough of the entire score. Otherwise, THE WOLVERINE is a score made up of cues of such violence and sheer force, that they cannot possibly go unnoticed.

When BELTRAMI wants your attention, he’s going to get it, no matter what. Through listening alone, it becomes very clear that Wolverine’s vacation in Japan is not one on which he can relax. The heavy rhythmic percussion of “Funeral Fight” (7), the blaring brass of “The Hidden Fortress” (16), and the downright terror of “Sword of Vengeance” (17) make for particularly stressful experiences on an already nerve-shredding score. Much of the score is incredibly atmospheric, and at times meticulous in describing just how volatile a world it is that Wolverine lives in. Aside from the somewhat derivative, but ultimately satisfyingly conclusive “Where to?” (21), there is barely a shred of hope to be found - something that will no doubt be discouraging to some listeners, but equally enticing to others.

“Logan’s Run” (4) represents what is certainly the album’s first invigorating cue, and it is also one of the most prominent ethnically expressive cues. The electrifying Taiko rhythms are about as close as THE WOLVERINE gets to the go-to East Asian film score clichés heard so often elsewhere. While more emphasis on the location would not have gone amiss, allowing the character of Wolverine, rather than his environment, to develop through the score is respectable and largely effective.

“Bullet Train” (9) and “Silver Samurai” (15) in all their merciless, unending orchestral contortions, are the score’s other truly standout moments.

It cannot be understated just how brutal some of BELTRAMI’S music for THE WOLVERINE is. It’s not for everyone, and will prove tiring for many. For some however, such orchestral dread has a uniquely stirring quality to it, and this is a score that offers such a quality in abundance.

Rating: 8/10


Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 A Walk in the Woods 1:01  ***
2 Threnody for Nagaski 1:14  ***
3 Euthanasia 1:36  **
4 Logan's Run 3:54  *****
5 The Offer 3:14  **
6 Arriving at the Temple 2:09  ***
7 Funeral Fight 4:21  *****
8 Two Handed 4:05  ****
9 Bullet Train 3:02  *****
10 The Snare 1:32  **
11 Abduction 2:10  ****
12 Trusting 1:54  ***
13 Ninja Quiet 3:40  ****
14 Kantana Surgery 3:49  ****
15 The Wolverine 2:20  ****
16 The Hidden Fortress 5:01  *****
17 Silver Samurai 3:26  *****
18 Sword of Vengeance 4:31  *****
19 Dreams 1:21  ***
20 Goodbye Mariko 1:00  ***
21 Where to? 2:24  ****
22 Whole Step Haiku 2:09  **
  Total Running Time (approx) 60 minutes  


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