Movie Review – Flight of The Navigator
Starring: Joey Cramer, Sarah Jessica Parker, Paul Reubens
Directed by: Randal Kleiser
Probably one of the most memorable movies from my childhood, Flight of The Navigator is about a young boy from Florida in 1978, David, who falls over a small ravine in the woods near his home and is rendered unconscious. He wakes up a short time later and returns home only to find out that his family is no longer there, in fact, new residents occupy the house! David soon learns that he has been reported “missing” since 1978, and now it is the year 1986. Wait, it gets better!
So not only has David been gone for eight years, he has not aged one day, nor does he remember being gone! To him, it only seemed like a few hours, at the most! He is then taken to his parents’ new home and sees that they have aged as well and his little brother is now his older brother, which you have to admit would really suck.
Meanwhile, NASA discovers an alien spacecraft that has crashed into some power lines and is apparently sealed very tightly, not allowing any sort of entrance or exit. It sort of looks like a silver bike helmet! Anyway, David begins hearing voices in his mind but he can’t quite make them out. During a doctor’s visit, David’s brainwaves are being monitored by a computer which prints out the wavelength signals coming from him. It all gets trippy when David’s mind sends a schematic of the alien craft to the computer, which in turn prints it out. Now as you could guess, this grabs the attention of NASA pretty quickly, and with his parent’s permission, takes David to the NASA compound so that they can study him more closely. Upon examination, David’s mind quickly begins to send more schematics, star charts, and additional information to the computer in binary code as well as an unknown alien language. From all of this new data, they believe that David was taken by the alien craft in 1978, and has been on a planet called “Phalon” ( fay-lon ) for the past eight years. Due to the properties of light speed travel ( in theory, time slows down as one would approach the speed of light ), the journey may have only seemed like a few hours to David, but here on Earth, it would have been eight years! Once the scientists realize that David may harbor a wealth of additional information, they arrange for him to prolong his stay at the research facility indefinitely. David befriends one of the NASA attendants ( Parker ) who watches over him and brings him his food throughout the day, and gets her to sneak him out of the compound in a robotic service unit, kind of like one of those carts hotel maids push around, except this one drives itself. Sooooooo, David makes his way to the hangar where the craft is being held. Upon his arrival, a small doorway opens on the craft and about five or six steps come out, leading into the craft. It’s sort of like T2, when the T-1000 melts into liquid metal, the doorway and steps sort of “melt” out of the alien craft. Pretty cool shizzle. NASA goes nuts when they see David has boarded the craft and proceed to surround it, like millions of years of alien technology is going to be hampered by some guards with rifles. A strange android aboard the craft, actually he’s part of the craft, explains to David that when it crashed, its memory banks were fried and David is the only one with the star charts so that it may return to Phalon!
We are then treated to a fantastic journey on land, underwater, in space, and everywhere else possible. Max, which is what David named the android in the craft, is hilarious the whole time, voiced by none other than Pee-Wee Herman himself, Paul Reubens. So what if he got caught in that theater, that one time, doing that one thing!! Anyways, the Flight of The Navigator is an awesome movie, and I JUST saw it again for the first time in like sixteen or seventeen years! Even after all that time, this flick still rocks. Kids and adults alike, it was made for everyone. I liked the whole concept of being abducted and returned, but way later, when all of your friends and family were older. Probably one of the better sci-fi flicks of the time, you definitely need to see this one again.
I got my copy on DVD, through a Brazilian movie import company, where it was released on DVD, completele with 5.1 surround ENGLISH! The only thing is that the box art and interactive menus on the DVD are in Portuguese. Alas, Disney has not made this movie on DVD here in the states yet ( those damned Disney wierdos ), so unless you can find this one in another country, VHS will have to do for ya. I give this modern masterpiece 4.5 stars out of 5, for originality, great special effects, a great story, and sentimental value….sniff….sniff…..sike!
4.5 out of 5