© 1984 Universal Pictures

Cloak And Dagger (1984)

It is interesting how we can associate certain movies with certain times of the year or even certain times of day. It’s a Wonderful Life is a film that demands to be seen on Christmas Eve. Many Woody Allen films are perfect for the autumn. Cloak and Dagger is a film that seemed to be on local TV in the early afternoons nearly every weekend when I around the age of Henry Thomas’s character in the film. During summer vacations it seemed to be on TV every day. Because of work commitments, I only had time to watch a film today in the early afternoon, and nostalgically opted for this film which I had seen so many times before at the same time of day.

The reason Cloak and Dagger was so fun for me when I was that age is that it is based on the timeless metanarrative of the boy who cried wolf, of a boy who is never believed by the adults around him, a feeling kids everywhere can identify with.

Although there is some pretty good construction of tension, especially in the chase scene in which a 12-year-old boy evades some thugs on a tour boat, the plot is patently ridiculous, something I must have realized to some extent even when I was younger. But revisiting this film about government secrets smuggled in a video game cartridge, I remembered that the WikiLeaks cables were smuggled out in a CD-R labeled “Lady Gaga”, so maybe life really does imitate art.

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