Finally got around to watching this on BlueRay. Considering I've been a fan of this character since the mid '80s, I had big expectations and they were largely met with this film. Beltrami is a composer who I respect but just cannot get into a lot of his music. He was trained during a period of time when tonality was largely poo-poo'd in university (I should know, I studied music around the same time) so he's never been a strong melodic composer to my mind. However, his talents fit The Wolverine perfectly.
The first indication that this film (and score) were going to be memorable was the scene when Logan lumbers down a mountain passing a grizzly bear without incident, as if the bear recognized another apex predator and let him be. Beltrami's music is comprised of some alternating chords but a lonely harmonica accents the desolate harmonies to great effect. It recalls Morricone's haunting use of the same instrument in Once Upon a Time in the West. Nice job.
Interestingly, my wife had wanted to see Man Of Steel the night prior to this evening so we rented it and I suffered through its bloated running time and bludgeoning pyrotechnics again. Zimmer's approach was largely the same as Beltrami's which was to eschew a soaring identifiable melody and concentrate on atmosphere and textures. The big difference (aside from the films between oceans apart in quality) was that Beltrami nailed his project. There's breathing room in his score, something really lacking in MOS aside from the plunking piano bits.
Anyhow, I don't want to make this an essay on what's wrong with MOS but did want to provide that bit just because of the stark contrast in execution from similar approaches.
I must also say The Wolverine was pretty faithful to the character and I was delighted to see the scene (albeit varied) with the hunter included from the original Miller Mini Series comic.