Sigur Rós frontman and resident experimental creator, Jónsi, has surprise-released his score for the film Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse.
The film, which was directed by Stefano Sollima and stars Michael B. Jordan, Jaime Bell, and Jodie Turner-Smith, premiered on Amazon Prime Video earlier this month, and follows Clancy’s second most popular generically named hero John Clark (spoilers, sorry) as he… I don’t know, kills some Russians and learns to love the deep state, I suppose.
The movie itself is a bit of a wash: Michael B. Jordan can’t help but be a kinetic presence when onscreen, but he and the rest of the cast also can’t help but be bogged down by bloated action scenes and bizarrely written dialogue. It should be no surprise that one of the screenwriters, Will Staples, is best known for his contributions to the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 story. You get the feeling that all of this would have been better suited as a video game.
Jónsi’s score is a fantastic counterpoint to the bland action thriller it happens to be accompanying. Prominently featuring the Icelandic musician’s unique blend of ambient sounds and discombobulating chord tones, the score is 23 tracks of tightly wound, pulse-quickening atmosphere and suspense. It’s not terribly dissimilar to the ungodly rumbles and symphonic beauty of Hans Zimmer’s work with Christopher Nolan, especially the now meme’d-to-death foghorn blasts of Inception. Maybe it was because there was earth-shaking construction going on outside my window while I was listening to it, but the vibrations from both the music and the power tools made me feel like I was in an IMAX theatre again, which is really all I’ve wanted over the past year and a half.
Sigur Rós haven’t been all that active in the past few years owing to their troubles with tax evasion and now-former drummer Orri Dýrason being accused of sexual assault back in 2018. The band’s last proper full length studio album, Kveikur, was released in 2013. Jónsi has kept busy, however, pairing with Swedish composer Carl Michael von Hausswolff to create a new musical project, Dark Morph, who released their second LP at about this time last year. Keep on keeping on, Jónsi.
Check out the soundtrack to Tom Clancy’s Big Fat C.I.A. Shoot ‘Em Up down below.