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Davey is a young boy with a vivid imagination. He pretends to be a James Bond-esque superspy named Jack Flack in games with other kids, and likes to imagine that Jack is standing beside him in daily life.
One day, Davey is on a fire escape while playing a spy-game with his friend Kim and happens to see a real FBI agent being threatened by a few bad guys. The FBI agent flees, and tries to make it down the fire escape where Davey is playing. But the agent gets shot and collapses before Davey. The agent hands Davey an cartridge for a game called Cloak & Dagger. With his dying breath, he tells Davey to get a million points to unlock the secrets in the game.
Davey escapes with the Cloak & Dagger cartridge. With the help of his imaginary friend Jack, Davey has to keep his precious video game from falling into enemy hands, to protect the important national secrets it contains.
As in many other 80s movies, Cloak & Dagger features a non-traditional family: Davey's father is raising him, as his mother is recently deceased. But surprisingly, it subverts many classic family-movie tropes. In fact, the movie is full of Family-Unfriendly Aesops:
- Adults Are Useless: Davey's father, the police, and several other characters refuse to believe Davey and will not help him in any way. Even the grandparent-like elderly couple who help Davey escape the Mooks turn out to be Evil Old Folks.
- Davey's Imaginary Friend, who is also a Parental Substitute, gives Davey really dumb advice: run across gunfire, run through traffic, steal things, and overcome his nonviolence so he can shoot at the bad guys. Even more oddly, it works out well for Davey every time.
- Adults Are Useless
- Be Careful What You Wish For
- Evil Old Folks
- Fictional Video Game
- I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin
- Imaginary Friend
- MacGuffin: The video game cartridge.
- Out of the Inferno
- Parental Substitute
- Stock Scream