Summing up “The Sum of All Fears”

Welcome to a new feature at,
wherein I take a look at the best soundtracks to use as background
music for your games — whether they’re video games or role-playing
games like Dungeons & Dragons, these selections will help you pick
and choose the best songs for your big battles and tense moments.
Why am I starting with this movie? I’ve long felt it was
underappreciated and perfect for gaming. I guess I just wanted to say
“Hey, check this one out!”

Composer: Jerry Goldsmith

This 2002 movie starring Ben Affleck and Morgan Freeman pretty
much sealed the fate of the Jack Ryan flicks. “The Sum of All Fears”
drops a young Jack Ryan into a tense situation here on American soil.
His mission: Thwart a terrorist attack on a stadium.
The soundtrack by Jerry Goldsmith mixes typical dramatic sounds with a tinge of patriotism.

Tracks 3 through 5 (“The Bomb”, “That Went Well” and
“Clear the Stadium”) are a great package with pounding drums and by the
end of the sequence settle into a nice “whew!” moment.

 Best for: Battles, Villain reveals.

Track 7 (“The Deal”) has a great middle-eastern flavor.

Best for: Role-plays with villains. Good to loop a few times too.

Track 8 (“Changes”) has a bit of a haunting melody. Not “ghost haunting,” but perfect just a bit creepy.

Best for: Coming across a gruesome scene.

Track 9  (“Snap Count”) fairly generic track here
with a slight bit of patriotic rumblings. Not that it’s bad, but
nothing terribly remarkable.

Best for: Getting the mission at the start of the session. Bad for looping because of a “big finish.”

Track 10 (“His Name is Olsen”) nothing too special here either. A slight attempt at a creepy spurt of music, but it isn’t well defined.

Best for: Secondary villain theme music.

Track 13 (“The Deserted Lab”) features a recurring noise that adds real tension along with throbbing horns.

Best for: Searches or main villain theme music.

Track 13 (“Real Time”) is the sequence that
fuels the film to its climax. “Real Time” has a vibe that reminds me of
horses dashing across a field. 

Best for: Outdoor battles.

Track 14 (“How Close?”)  is quite lengthy and conveys a close shave with a hint of lingering danger.

Best for: Tense moments like diffusing a bomb or springing a trap

Track 15 (“The Same Air”) reprises some of the themes
in the vocal features on the track. It’s meant to release some tension
that has built up.

Best for: A sad homecoming or the death of a major character.

Soundtrack recognizability: Very Low
Tracks to skip:
  1, 2, 6, 11 and 16
Exterior review:


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