Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Composed By: Patrick Doyle

Distributed by: Varese Sarabande Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                The fifth installment in the Jack Ryan movie series, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is a prequel of sorts, but unlike the other movies in the series, this is not a tale based on a Tom Clancy novel.  The story takes place sometime after the events of 9/11 and stars Chris Pine as a very young Jack Ryan.  A marine injured when his helicopter is shot down in Afghanistan, Ryan captures the attention of physician Cathy Muller (Keira Knightley) and CIA official William Harper (Kevin Costner).  Ten years later, Ryan is undercover on Wall Street tracking transactions that may lead him to terrorist activities tied to Russia.

                The musical score of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit was created by Scottish film composer Patrick Doyle, whose career in composition began in 1987 when he became a composer and musical director with the Renaissance Theater Company.  Since then, he has created musical scores for both television and film, including the scores of such notable films as Much Ado About Nothing, Carlito's Way, Dead Again, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Sense and Sensibility, Donnie Brasco, Great Expectations, Bridget Jones' Diary, Gosford Park, Killing Me Softly, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Eragon, Thor, Brave, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and more.

                Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is a movie full of action and intrigue and this is expressed in the score through the use of strings, horns and percussion.  Fast moving strings offer up a sense of urgency.  Orchestral music is mixed with ambient and electronic sound during moments of subterfuge.  I would love to know what is taking place during Track 10, The Activation, that necessitates a choir.  Quite interesting. 

                While the music is interesting at times, the main flaw the Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit Soundtrack has is that the music never stays in one range.  Soft, subtle nuances in quieter moments on the soundtrack have you turning up the volume.  Unfortunately, as soon as you turn up the volume, you are blasted with sound as the music rises in intensity and volume for the action scenes.  By the time you are done listening to this album, your ears are ringing and you have to listen to it again to fully appreciate the musical score Patrick Doyle has created for the film. 

                I've no doubt that the score is perfect as a background addition to the visuals of the film, but as a stand alone album, you may go deaf attempting to enjoy all of the nuances of Doyle's musical creation that is the score of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.


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