Friday, August 29, 2014

Cloak & Dagger (1984)

Director: Richard Franklin
Starring: Henry Thomas, Dabney Coleman, Michael Murphy, Christina Nigra
Running Time: 101 Minutes

Two years ago Steven Spielberg introduced us to the young Henry Thomas who played Elliot, the kid who befriended a lost alien in E.T. Now we see Henry Thomas in his most courageous role yet, in "Cloak & Dagger" featuring an imaginative young boy named Davey Osborne who loves role-playing games. His mother passed away recently and his father, Hal (Dabney Coleman) is an overly busy colonel in the U.S. Air Force, so he often looks to find aid in an imaginary super-spy named Jack Flack (also Dabney Coleman).

One day on an top secret assignment for some Twinkies, he witnesses a real murder of an FBI agent who passes a video game called "Cloak & Dagger" to him just before he is killed. Ironically, when the police come, the body is gone, and no one will believe him. Soon Davey finds himself up to his neck in hairbreadth escapes, real bullets, and a race against the clock action. His friend and neighbor Kim (Christina Nigra) gets caught in the middle of Davey's wild imagination which she quickly learns isn't as made up as she once thought. In order to rescue Kim, Davey has to return the game to the "bad guys" led by Michael Murphy. Soon it's a race of the clock to get to Kim before midnight to disable the bomb which was wired in her walkie-talkie, coincidentally it's also the same time the creepy old terrorists' flight out of the country is.

Over the years there's no doubt this movie has dated some, for instance the walkie talkies and the large trunks big enough to stash bodies into, two things you don't see much of today. Today a rated PG family film most likely wouldn't carry a child being hunted, threatened, and held hostage over a video game. It's movies like this one that makes me cherish what we had in the 80s and very early 90s. "Cloak & Dagger" is one of the greatest forgotten gems of the 80s, featuring deadly spies, imaginary superheroes, and a real life adventure based on an ATARI game. The well-anticipated twist at the end makes this movie worth watching to the end.This film is suitable for the whole family whose time has finally come to get the recognition it deserves.

My Rating: 10/10 - OWN IT!
Cloak & Dagger (1984) on IMDb
This review was written in part for Forgotten Films' 1984 a-thon

1 comment:

  1. How come Dabney Coleman didn't become a bigger star? I wonder about that every time I see him in a film.


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