Jack Strong | Chicago Reader

Jack Strong

"Jack Strong" sounds like the hero of a Tom Clancy novel, but it was actually the code name for Ryszard Kuklinski, a colonel in the Polish army who clandestinely provided the CIA with numerous Warsaw Pact documents between 1972 and 1981. This sturdy, run-of-the-mill biopic plays like an espionage thriller as well, though the real-life story is undeniably interesting. As scripted, Kuklinski is both the world's dumbest father (he arrives home in the middle of the night with a puppy for his young sons, then expects them to go right back to sleep) and the world's most careless spy (a colleague walks in on him as he's photographing top-secret papers at his desk during office hours). But Marcin DorociƄksi gives an appealing performance as Kuklinski, who risks his life for patriotic reasons even as his oblivious elder son, incensed by the army's bloody clampdown on the 1970 protests in Poland, denounces him as a tool of the Soviets. Somehow Patrick Wilson got roped into this; he plays Kuklinski's CIA handler and does all those walk-and-talk scenes in which the characters touch base and glance over their shoulders. In Polish with subtitles.

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