"The Sum Of All Fears (Expanded)"
Music By Jerry Goldsmith
The Mission (Includes "If We Could Remember")
Performed by Shana Blake Hill
La-La Land Records
25 Tracks/Disc Time: 78:48
By the time the early 2000's rolled around, Tom Clancy's grand creation of CIA analyst Jack Ryan was dormant until the character was brought back after his last big screen appearance in the hit "Clear And Present Danger" twenty years ago. In a post 9/11 world, Tom Clancy's character became relavent again for a younger audience and "The Sum Of All Fears" was put into action matching wits against "Spider-Man" the the Summer of 2002. The adaptation directed by Phil Alden Robinson ("Field Of Dreams", "Sneakers") stars Ben Affleck ("Argo") stars the young and eager CIA junior analyst Jack Ryan who under the guidence of William Cabot (Oscar winner Morgan Freeman, "Transcendence") is now involved to prevent a terrorist plot hatched by a neo-Nazi group lead by a mysterious leader (Alan Bates) that would destroy threatens to induce a catastrophic conflict between the United States and Russia's newly elected president by detonating a nuclear weapon at a football game in Baltimore. The film was a hit when it was released and it looked as if the character was headed back to the big screen for a long time to come until this years, "Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit" which is a reboot of the series starring Chris Pine ("Star Trek").
While the film has had its' fair share of leading actors for the role of Jack Ryan that include Alec Baldwin ("The Hunt For Red October") and Harrison Ford ("Patriot Games", "Clear And Present Danger"), directors, John McTiernan ("The Hunt For Red October"), Phillip Noyce ("Patriot Games", "Clear And Present Danger"), Phil Alden Robinson ("The Sum Of All Fears"), and now, Kenneth Branagh ("Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit") and composers, the late Basil Poledouris ("The Hunt For Red October") and Oscar Winner James Horner ("Patriot Games", "Clear And Present Danger"), "The Sum Of All Fears") was definitely in the strong capable musical hands of the late Jerry Goldsmith, who at the time was struggling a battle with cancer and would sadly lose it two years later. Before his passing, Goldsmith managed to write some solid scores to "The Last Castle", "Star Trek Nemesis", "Timeline" (before the film was hastily re-edited and his score was dropped) and to his final effort for Director Joe Dante in "Looney Tunes Back In Action". "The Sum Of All Fears" features Goldsmith's final and fully realized complete score that is a powerhouse and provides the film with everything it needs: strong themes and terrific suspense, action material that channels Goldsmith's strongest work of the mid to late 90's.
The album opens up with "The Mission" a powerhouse and dynamic opening track featuring a great operatic performance by Shana Blake Hill that immediately sucks you in both on this album and the film itself. A great marriage of visuals and powerful, impactful music that sets up the tone for the rest of the score as Goldsmith establishes the score's main theme: a virtuoso military theme with sweeping strings pulsing electronics. The name of the game for this score is plenty of suspense and rhythmic action featuring the style that Goldsmith made his niche with featuring strong themes and terrific use of electronics when needed featured in solid tracks such as "Do It!/I'll Go/The Bomb", "14 Months/The Deal", and "The Reservoir/Night Landing/Deserted Lab" in which Goldsmith utlizes the military theme as well a darker motif for the villains of the film. However, Goldsmith really goes full throttle with no shortage of musical suspense and action for the last few reels of the film with the action packed "Clear The Stadium (Film version)/Not the Russians/Man Your Aircraft", "Further Aggressions/State of War", "Real Time", "Cabot Is Dead/His Name Is Olson", "Snap Count", "Maximum Readiness/Get A Doctor" and "How Close?" are really dynamic action tracks that really the very last really engaging action tracks that Goldsmith really wrote that featured memorable material which was lacking in his final score to "Star Trek Nemesis" but used up in "Timeline" which was sadly never heard with the film itself. Each track features a piece of delicious and exciting melodic themes and melodies that build up the action and suspense towards something bigger and more powerhouse with each beat, bar and note. "How Close?" closes with a beautiful instrumental rendition of the "The Mission" theme which is pure lyrical and powerful sweep by the late composer and given a more pastorial and tranquil ending with "The Same Air" which puts a great close on this very solid score.
La-La Land's expanded album is a great CD in that it restores alot of the best material that was glaringly missing from the original Elektra album release during the film's theatrical run which had a fair amount of the score and put more emphasis on the great rendition of "The Mission ("They Will Remember You") which opens the film quite memorably and with powerful results along with a ballad rendition by singer Yolanda Adams to go along with Shana Blake Hill's powerful recording. The score itself is a powerhouse of excellent action, suspense and dramatic material by Goldsmith that additional material included here makes this album a pure winner. "The Sum of All Fears" is one of the last and finest Jerry Goldsmith's scores that we got to hear. High marks. Very strongThumbs up!