Having a background in composing film score for mainly horror films, and only recently getting his feet wet in the area of straight-forwardly explosive action films with his original score for A Good Day To Die Hard
, Marco Beltrami was an interesting pick to score the newest Wolverine solo film from Marvel, The Wolverine
. Beltrami’s specialty in film score has been in nerve-wracking tension, -- which is quite subtle in comparison to the orchestral music found in most blockbusters -- and a soundtrack album primarily comprised of this does save The Wolverine
from sporting the often stale and overstated bombastic cue music that accompanies some superhero films and usually action films in general.
is a loud collection of music, but in a different sense than being over the top. These tracks deal in incendiary and screeching buildup that feels as if the instruments are being stretched beyond their usual boundaries, and with the short supply of calm instances supporting this prevalent unease throughout, Beltrami has actually upgraded his own signature sounds, and with this score has come across a great form of abrasive mood music that’s invigorating enough to have appropriate usage other than as horror film score music, and just violent enough to work as an action movie soundtrack on a visual and visceral level. This newfound formula can most likely be attributed to his recent experience scoring the grand-scale apocalyptic zombie action film World War Z
, which gave him much exercise in finding a definite middle ground between horror film score music traits and the pulse of action movie soundtracks.
The film itself has much stock in the stylistic and thematic value of Japan and Samurai specifically, and Beltrami takes this into account when adding an extra touch that makes The Wolverine
distinct from any other soundtrack to a Marvel film. While it’s unfortunately mostly subdued under the earthquake-like rumbling, busy pattering, and jarring blasts of the central traditional musical elements, that touch is the employment of some exotic Asian instruments that sprinkle some ethnic flavor over this corrosive soundtrack album. It really would have been nice to hear these exotic elements in a more prominent fashion to serve as a toned-down yet stylish intermission from the relentlessly cascading tension, but thankfully The Wolverine
is far from plain in its assault that sets its sites on testing the endurance of the mind more-so than any superhero film score in recent memory.
A unique specimen, that may be too eager for its own good and a little rough around the edges at points, The Wolverine
original score makes its few shortcomings excusable in how it’s a quality example of a composer experimenting to surpass himself and redefine his capabilities, but not allowing his artistic intentions to jeopardize the film he’s making music for, and therefore finding the best way to vent his personal ambitions while making music that best suits the film at the same time.