Not to be confused with the trope CloakAndDagger or the superhero duo Comicbook/CloakAndDagger, ''Cloak & Dagger'' is a 1980s-era video game tie-in movie.

Davey is a young boy with a vivid imagination. He pretends to be a ''Film/JamesBond''-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 agent escapes to the stairwell, and hands Davey a cartridge for a game called ''Cloak & Dagger''. [[ImDyingPleaseTakeMyMacGuffin With his dying breath]], he tells Davey to keep the game away from the hitmen, then gets gunned down by those very hitmen.

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.
!!Tropes include:

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* AdultFear: Your wife has died, and your son has retreated into a fantasy world that is interfering with is real life. Some of this is an understandable way to deal with a loss, but your son is taking it entirely too far, to the point where he is hallucinating his imaginary friend, and (you think) he is now suffering from a delusion that he is really being chased by "the bad guys."
** And it gets even worse when you realize that that [[CassandraTruth someone really]] ''[[CassandraTruth was]]'' after him, and [[spoiler: you think they may have killed him, and you might have prevented it if you had listened to him earlier....]]
--> '''Hal:''' (whispering) Oh God. Why didn't I believe him?
* AdultsAreUseless: Davey's father, the police, and several other characters [[CassandraTruth refuse to believe Davey and will not help him in any way]]. [[spoiler: Even the grandparent-like elderly couple who help Davey escape the hit men turn out to be Evil Old Folks.]]
** It's justified -- and even deconstructed -- in that Davey's fantasy spy stories have destroyed his credibility, and most of the adults believe, reasonably, that he is CryingWolf. (For example, the security guard at the beginning orders an immediate lockdown of the building after Davey reports a murder, and he only comes to doubt Davey after they fail to find a body. And Lieutenant Fleming [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure is sympathetic when Hal tells him of the recent death in the family, and he is willing to let the matter drop,]] but he tells Hal, correctly, that Davey needs psychological help. Hal, Davey's father, should have had more faith in his son, but Hal [[ParentsAsPeople is dealing with the recent death of his wife, he has to raise his son on his own, and he is justifiably worried his son is withdrawing into a fantasy spy world to deal with his mother's death.]] More than anything, Hal is WrongGenreSavvy; once he realizes Davey has been telling the truth, he goes into PapaWolf mode.
* BatmanColdOpen: We start with one of Jack Flack's many adventures, which turns out to be a game being played by our main character, Davey.
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: Davey fantasizes about cloak and dagger adventures, then gets forced into one.
* DeadlyDodging: Jack Flack tells Davey to use the "Crossfire Gambit" when he's being pursued by two armed men. He hides under a bridge, and lets the first one pass, then jumps out and runs right past the surprised mook, while the other one fires...right into the mook.
* EverythingIsBigInTexas: Between the Tower Life Building, River Walk, the Sunken Gardens in Brackenridge Park, and [[RememberTheAlamo the Alamo]], the movie gets a lot of mileage out of using early-1980s [[UsefulNotes/OtherCitiesInTexas San Antonio]] as a setting.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: George and Eunice [=MacCready=] may not make an honest living, but they become very indignant with Rice, Alvarez, and Haverman for their failure to be discreet and maintain a low profile, especially when the latter three try to publicly murder Davey (see [[WouldHurtAChild Would Hurt A Child]] below). Eunice even says something to this effect as she and George are in the car while discussing their plans to flee the country, and he agrees. Of course, this changes later when Davey has the upper hand against them, and they retaliate by kidnapping him at gunpoint.
* EvilGloating: Rice takes pleasure in telling Davey how he will [[ForTheEvulz enjoy shooting]] [[ToThePain Davey in the kneecaps and stomach]] [[WouldHurtAChild then watch as Davey dies slowly and painfully.]] At first, Rice thinks Davey only has a water pistol, but at some point it's clear he figures that Davey has a real gun... but can't bring himself to pull the trigger. Justified in that Rice is (1) a truly ''nasty'' piece of work, and (2) he's ''right.'' Davey would never have been able to shoot, even in self-defense... had not [[spoiler: Jack made a HeroicSacrifice, albeit an imaginary one.]]
* EvilOldFolks: George and Eunice [=MacCready=] seem to be grandparent-like figures who are among the few to believe Davey's story. However, they are actually enforcers working for the spies whom Davey is trying to escape, and in the film's climax, they kidnap him at gunpoint and commandeer a plane to flee the country.
* ExtremelyShortTimespan: The film takes place over, at most, about 36 hours. The last forty minutes are nearly in RealTime.
* FakinMacGuffin: After the bad guys witness Davey getting the cartridge, and fail to capture him at his home the next day, they kidnap his next-door neighbor and invoke a HostageForMacGuffin scenario. Jack Flack tells Davey not to play along, and instead tells him to steal a normal ''Cloak & Dagger'' cartridge to use for the trade instead. The bad guys figure it out very quickly, as a sticker on the back of the cartridge gives it away.
* FreudianTrio: Haverman, Alvarez, and Rice fall under this trope as the Id, Ego, and Superego, respectively, in terms of their impulsive behavior, [[RefugeInAudacity as they select some very public San Antonio landmarks in which they conduct their dirty spy business]]. Haverman is the most reckless, while Alvarez falls somewhere in between him and Rice, who is the most discreet (albeit very slightly.) [[spoiler: Not surprisingly, this is precisely the order in which they are killed. Haverman is killed in a car wreck when he carelessly drives the van into a jewelry store [[HoistByHisOwnPetard after intending to run down and kill Davey]]; Alvarez is accidentally killed by Rice during the aforementioned "[[DeadlyDodging Crossfire]] [[BatmanGambit Gambit]]" when Rice tries to shoot Davey instead; and finally, after picking up the gun from Alvarez's corpse, Davey kills the remaining spy out of rage when backed into a wall when he thinks said remaining spy has killed Jack Flack]].
* GrowingUpSucks: For Jack at least. When the very bloody implications of actual gunplay sink in for Davey and [[MoralDissonance he no longer wants to "play"]], Jack laments that [[LikeFatherLikeSon his father]] eventually stopped wanting to play CowboysAndIndians too
* HandcuffedBriefcase: At the opening, we see an officer handcuffing a briefcase to himself before leaving the limousine. Agent Jack Flack is tasked to steal this briefcase, and prepared for this, with a gadget watch that cuts through the handcuffs.
* HollywoodNerd: The proprietor of the Game Keeper is an overweight, bearded man with NerdGlasses who spends most of his time playing video games and requesting Twinkies.
* HollywoodSilencer: Used on nearly every gun in the movie.
* ImDyingPleaseTakeMyMacGuffin: The FBI agent who is gunned down gives Davey the ''Cloak & Dagger'' video game cartridge containing important national secrets just before dying.
* ImaginaryFriend: Jack Flack is Davey's companion through most of the film, but only exists in Davey's imagination. A few scenes are devoted to showing how Jack doesn't reflect in mirrors and isn't visible to other people.
* ItWasHereISwear: When Davey brings a security guard to the scene of the murder he'd just witnessed, all evidence has been removed and no one believes him.
* {{MacGuffin}}: The video game cartridge.
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: It's never clear whether Jack Flack is some sort of magical being or if he's really just a figment of Davey's imagination. Jack seems to have more situational awareness than Davey in some scenes and implies that he was also Davey's father's imaginary friend. It's even possible that Rice is able to see him during the showdown at the Sunken Gardens, though he may have also been reacting to where Davey was looking and firing on instinct.
--> DAVEY: He could see you!
--> JACK: (wincing) I doubt he had the imagination.
* NerdGlasses: The proprietor of the Game Keeper wears Coke-bottle glasses to establish him as a nerd.
* NiceHat: Jack Flack is never seen without his bulletproof beret -- though in Davey's showdown with Rice, it turns out that [[RealityEnsues it doesn't stop real bullets.]]
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Jack urges Davey to shoplift a ''Cloak & Dagger'' game cartridge from The Game Keeper to give the spies in exchange for Kim rather than the real thing, and surely enough, the "Game Keeper" label on the back not only tips off Rice that it's a faux cartridge, but it ends up leading him right to Morris, who has the real cartridge.
* NotSoImaginaryFriend: Several scenes suggest that Jack may not be imaginary at all. In several instances, he interacts with the environment and is aware of things that Davey wouldn't be. In a late scene, one of the assassins seems to see Jack. And in his final scene, his dialogue suggests that he was also Davey's father's friend and that whatever he is follows some sort of metaphysical rules.
* OutOfTheInferno: At the end of the film, the plane the [=MacCreadys=] have commandeered [[spoiler: and which Davey's father, Hal, has volunteered to pilot]] is blown up by the bomb which Davey stopped from being used to kill Kim. However, [[spoiler:Hal]] emerges from the fireball unharmed.
--> '''Hal''': Jack Flack always escapes!
--> '''Davey''': [[ComingOfAgeStory I don't need him anymore.]] [[SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments I've got you, Dad.]]
* PapaWolf: Hal Osborne becomes the hero in the final act of the film, once he realizes Davey has been telling the truth all along.
* ParentalSubstitute: Davey's military air traffic controller father doesn't spend much time with him due to work commitments, so Davey has invented Jack Flack as a replacement father figure. They're even played by the same actor, Dabney Coleman.
* ParentsAsPeople: As stated in AdultsAreUseless, Hal, Davey's father, should have had more faith in his son. But considering that he was juggling raising a son on his own, working a stressful job in the Air Force, and dealing with the death of his wife, one can't judge him, especially as that son has retreated into his own fantasy world. At one point, Hal lectures Davey gently that real heroes don't go out and kill "the bad guys;" they do boring things like trying to raise a family right. He also worries, correctly, that Davey's fantasy world has become unhealthy. If anything, Hal is WrongGenreSavvy; most of the time, his advice would be dead-on accurate. When he realizes that Davey was right, Hal is horrified, and he [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone regrets not believing in him.]] Then, when Davey is in trouble and Hal is in a position to help, he goes into full PapaWolf mode. Hal is a near-textbook case of how to write a parent as a complex, imperfect human being correctly. Dabney Coleman has stated that he has had many men come to him and tell him they saw this movie with their sons or fathers, and [[HeartwarmingMoments it was very important in their life.]]
* ProductPlacement: The ''Cloak and Dagger'' video game existed as an arcade game. The version shown in the movie uses the arcade screens and is depicted as being played on the UsefulNotes/{{Atari 5200}}, a planned release which was forestalled by the Great Videogame Crash.
* RealityEnsues: Davey is able to escape from Rice and his henchmen by stealing Riceís car... but since Davey is eleven years old, has never driven a car, and canít even see out the windshield and hit the gas at the same time, the car goes careening out of control. Davey is barely able to get out of the parking garage, and he crashes the car shortly thereafter.
** A darker version of this trope shows up later, when Rice and Alvarez are hunting Davey down. Jack keeps acting like itís all in fun, wanting to play by the rules of a game. By now, Davey has seen two men get killed, has been stuck in the trunk of a car with the corpse of someone he knew, and heís trying to save a friend from getting blown up by a bomb. Heís scared to death, knowing whatís at stake, and he says, ďMy Dad was right. I donít want to play anymore.Ē
* RedRightHand: The old lady's hand with only three fingers.
* ToThePain: When Rice has Davey cornered, he boasts that while he could turn Davey into hamburger in about three seconds with the machine gun, he'd rather start with [[KneeCapping shooting him in the kneecaps]]...
* TroublingUnchildlikeBehavior: Davey is obsessed with spy adventures that involve global espionage and a lot of murder. His imaginary friend also urges him to gun down a man, while Davey himself is reluctant to take a life.
* WhamLine: Near the end, after Jack has disappeared....
--> '''Davey:''' Jack, come back! I can't do this on my own!
--> '''Jack's Disembodied Voice:''' Yes you can. You were '''''always''''' on your own.
* WouldHurtAChild: And how. The spies have [[MoralEventHorizon no qualms whatsoever about murdering children]].
* WouldntHitAGirl: In Jack's BatmanColdOpen, he mercilessly kills a few male thugs, but simply makes eyes at a beautiful FemmeFatale. When she levels a gun at him, he blocks it with a bulletproof hat, but the bullet reflects and hits her in the chest. He cradles her as she falls and seems to lament the fact that she died.
* WrongGenreSavvy: Davey think's -- at least at first -- he's in a more kid-friendly spy story, a la his board games or SpyKids, or perhaps a lighter Film/JamesBond story. Actually, he's in a grittier, darker spy story, akin to Film/{{Ronin}} or a JohnLeCarre novel (more family-friendly, but still pretty brutal).