Music Composed by: Marco Beltrami
Movie Genre: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
Movie Release: 2017
Soundtrack Release: 2017
Label: Lakeshore Records

“Composer Marco Beltrami deepens inside Logan’s
feelings and transforms them into music. Listen carefully
and you’ll discover almost every aspect of his tormented life!”

In Hugh Jackman’s last cinematic appearance as Logan, music leaves the glorious heroic moments of the past and focuses on the present, a cold, bleak, miserable, violent and unhappy present. For this farewell journey to the title character, the most essential part of the story has to deal with Logan’s psychology, a primary concern of Marco Beltrami’s music. This isn’t about composing a new theme for Logan, it’s about a thorough profiling of a musical world to the center of which Logan is located, with the other characters of the movie surrounding him. Everyone and everything moves around him and this time there’s no room for positive or joyful sentiments. There is not a single sound of joy, happiness or relief to the score of the movie, even when the composer is trying to create a musical identity for a little girl. Cause this is a unique girl, like no other. And the future ahead of her is unfortunately equivalent of Logan’s past. Or perhaps so it seems to be.

The score of the movie is distinguished by its cruelty and coldness, not about its warmth and tenderness. Of great importance in this score is the atmosphere, which takes form in a discreet way, without bold thematic references. To the contrary, a sense of distance is all over the music. Distant music for a distant hero. Even almost sorrowful music. Logan is of course the reason for this, because he is living isolated, without tracking any attention, always careful about not getting into trouble, until a little girl comes into his life and everything turns upside down. He is not the man he used to be. Now he is nothing more of a shadow of his old heroic self. A fallen mutant. Music comes to verify Logan’s current way of life and everything that’s about to happen.

The fresh cinematic landscape as presented by James Mangold, the director of the movie, demanded a unique musical approach in order to express Logan’s inner turmoil, along with the emotional vibrations of the other characters. Make no mistake, though, Logan is the leading figure of the film and Beltrami’s score follows every single step of his path. Even when the score isn’t directly involving him, still, the music is giving a comment about him. Whatever happens on screen works under the shadow of Logan, so the music is obliged to focus on his emerging thoughts, feelings, intentions and ultimately actions. It’s the overall personality of the music that’s most essential in this particular score, rather than one theme or the other.

A piano driven theme in the “Main Titles” (#1) states Logan’s loneliness, while “Laura” (#2) indicates his isolation, living with an ailing Professor X in a deserted hideout on the Mexican border. Melancholic and introspective vibrations come from “Old Man Logan” (#4), where the score is entering more deeper in Logan’s mind and heart. The arrival of a young mutant girl, who’s being pursued by dark forces, makes Logan to abandon his hideout. The music denoting his gateway has two facets: one featuring threat, while someone is chasing him in “That’s not a Choo-Choo” (#6), and one devoid of a visible threat, in “Alternate Route to Mexico” (#5), where the music takes a less threatening and a more relaxed and wandering attitude. For the X-24 mutant, the composer creates a low menacing synthetic sound in “X-24” (#7), which indicates a lethal threat. Sadness emerges from the track “Gabriella’s Video” (#9), where an aging Logan puts on his presbyopia glasses to watch a video on a smartphone. The content of the video is moving, because music brings all the emotion. A protective Logan can become a furious Logan, when the life of a young mutant girl or her mutant friends are threatened. Bloody reactions are caused due to Logan’s brutal idiosyncrasy and Beltrami’s score is bound to reach percussive moments of action in “Feral Tween” (#13), “Forest Fight” (#19) & “Logan vs. X-24” (#20).

Seeking for light or bright musical moments in Logan’s score? Seek elsewhere! I assure you, you won’t find such moments in this score. Instead, you’ll find an eerie, sick, decayed and miserable sound pallet, consisting the score from beginning to end. Just like Logan’s own private remote world. Being devoid of any substantial melodic qualities, the music isn’t charming enough to be appreciated out of content. In fact, this is exactly the reason for the vastly different ratings at the end of this review: it’s impossible not to highlight the value and the successful role of Beltrami’s score for the movie, but on the other hand observe that it’s somewhat hard to return again and again to the score as a standalone musical hearing.

By now, you have come to realize that Logan’s score doesn’t share a single resemblance with the previous X-Men movie related scores. In fact, this score couldn’t have been more different than all the previous ones. And justified. Another cinematic world suggests another musical demands. Logan isn’t a movie of super heroic spectacle, but a road movie with two familiar mutants at their decline chased. At the same time, they ‘re suffering in body and mind alike. Their powers reached peak level a long time ago. Now, all powers have abandoned them. Frankly, this is the very reason of the movie’s success: how often do we see iconic super heroes, falling and reaching to their end? How much is really the music involved to this? Well, quite a lot!

Indeed, music sets the pace of the film and the overall mood. If it’s on the right direction, movie’s world comes to life so vividly that the viewers can’t really doubt the experienced emotions. This is when a score influences a picture, not just accompanying the movie’s images. That’s the big difference between mediocre and great film music! If music in every other X-Men movie was speaking, in “Logan” music is whispering. Music whispers all the anger and rage simmering inside Logan that it’s about to be unleashed. After all, the movie isn’t rated R without reason!  Marco Beltrami succeeds in creating a believable and completely compatible musical environment for Logan, that it’s impossible to imagine the film without it. Marco Beltrami’s score is really the soul of the film. Can you think of a better compliment for a movie score?

Track List:

01. Main Titles (2:21)
02. Laura (2:24)
03. The Grim Reavers (1:32)
04. Old Man Logan (2:45)
05. Alternate Route to Mexico (1:23)
06. That’s Not a Choo-Choo (2:13)
07. X-24 (2:46)
08. El Limo-Nator (1:38)
09. Gabriella’s Video (2:36)
10. To the Cemetery (0:55)
11. Goodnight Moon (1:55)
12. Farm Aid (3:11)
13. Feral Tween (3:34)
14. Driving to Mexico (1:42)
15. You Can’t Break the Mould (1:07)
16. Up to Eden (1:51)
17. Beyond the Hills (2:09)
18. Into the Woods (3:09)
19. Forest Fight (2:30)
20. Logan vs. X-24 (4:13)
21. Don’t Be What They Made You (2:04)
22. Eternum – Laura’s Theme (3:35)
23. Logan’s Limo (2:32)
24. Loco Logan (1:20)
25. Logan Drives (2:08)

Total Time: 57:45

The tracks that stand out are noted with bold letters

Score Rating
(as it is heard in the movie): * * * *

Score Rating
(as a standalone musical hearing
): * * 1/2

Preview:

Trailer:

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