You're Operational Now: A Day in 'Jack Ryan' Spy School
By David Weiner
In Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Chris Pine quickly moves from CIA analyst on the sidelines to full-fledged operative in the field while in Moscow. In the spirit of the film's Blu-ray & DVD release, out now from Paramount, ETonline's David Weiner was given the unique opportunity to go to "spy school" for a day with the Shadow Recruits: The Covert Espionage Experience. Watch the video and see what happened!
Luke Bencie, Managing Director of Security Management International (SMI) and author of Among Enemies: Counter-Espionage for the Business Traveler, and Michael J. Sulick, retired from the CIA as the Director of the National Clandestine Service (NCS), delivered key pointers in the art of surveillance using the "ABC Method" -- how to follow a target, or "rabbit," and how to be the "eye" without being noticed. A notable detail: When tailing someone, the target may often change their appearance with the help of deceptively different hats, glasses, jackets and other disguises. Rarely, however, do they ever change their shoes.
After being briefed on my Jack Ryan-inspired target, I headed to the crowded streets of Downtown Los Angeles to tail my rabbit with a team led by Frank Pastirik, former covert CIA operative and now Senior Advisor on Global Intelligence Issues with Security Management International. The rabbit was spotted, tailed, and observed exchanging an item for a briefcase in an alley. Watch the video to see what happened next...
Shadow Recruits: The Covert Espionage Experience was also a golden opportunity to pick the brains of CIA officers Richard Holm and Jon Monett, Cold War heroes whose eyes told me infinitely more about their experiences than their humble, compelling answers did. Holm, author of The Craft We Chose: My Life in the CIA and a 35-year CIA operations officer and station chief, operated in Laos, the Congo, Hong Kong, Brussels and Paris, and survived a plane crash in Africa. Monett was a 30-year CIA vet directing a worldwide network of tech officers, lauded with awards and the Intelligence Medal of Merit. He was also the advisor on Robert De Niro's film The Good Shepherd, starring Matt Damon,and shared some amusing tales of hanging with De Niro and drinking too many "saki-tinis" together. Martha "Marti" Peterson, author of The Widow Spy: My CIA Journey from the Jungles of Laos to Prison in Moscow, was also on hand to share incredible details of her 32-year career in the CIA as a clandestine operations officer on the CIA's front line in Moscow during the Cold War -- and getting ambushed by the KGB.
An all-new adventure based on Tom Clancy's classic character, the Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit storyline finds Chris Pine as Ryan -- an injured Marine recruited by CIA spook Kevin Costner to work as a high-level CIA analyst -- sent to Moscow to investigate the disappearance of huge sums of money from Russian accounts. There, he becomes a full-fledged operative after discovering a terrorist plot to collapse America's economy, which puts his love (played by Keira Knightley) directly in jeopardy. Kenneth Branagh plays the film's villain and also directs the origin story. Colm Feore, Gemma Chan, Karen David and David Paymer also star.
Out now, the Blu-ray Combo Pack with Digital HD bonus features include deleted and extended scenes; filmmaker commentary; and the behind-the-scenes featurettes Jack Ryan: The Smartest Guy in the Room; Sir Kenneth Branagh: The Tsar of Shadow Recruit; Jack Ryan: A Thinking Man of Action; and Old Enemies Return. The film is also available as a single-disc DVD.