Flight Of The Navigator

Joey Cramer stars as twelve year old David Freeman in this fantasy movie, aimed squarely at the family market. David is a typical fun-lovin' all-American kid, out playing in the woods with his younger brother Jeff.

One day, when they are going home to prepare for an outing on the lake that night, David is startled by a train and falls into a ravine, knocking himself out.

When he wakes, it's dark, so he runs home, not wanting to be late for the trip. But when he gets there, his parents have moved, everything has changed - it's eight years later. Unsurprisingly, David passes out once more.

He wakes in hospital, and there are his family, who want to know one thing - where has he been? David has no memory of the missing years and so some NASA guys arrive to try and piece together what had happened. Or at least that's their story. The truth is that they have found this silver spacecraft that crashed into some electricity cables and they are looking into any strange events that might explain more about the craft, where it is from, and most importantly, how to get inside and learn its secrets.

After finding loads of star maps and stuff inside David's subconscious mind, David escapes (with the help of his new friend Carolyn, played by Sarah Jessica Parker) and he manages to get to the craft, which opens a door and lets him in.

It turns out that David was taken by the craft eight years before for study and something went wrong when it tried to return him to the time he was taken. Now the craft (controlled by a computer called Max) says that David is the Navigator and only he can help get things back to normal.

They fly off, visiting much of the world, and allowing Max to learn more of the culture around him. But they always stay just one step ahead of the NASA people, who want their prizes back...


In a similar way to the River Phoenix/Ethan Hawke movie "Explorers" (1985), it's a little difficult to categorise this movie.

It could easily be Family, Sci-fi, Comedy. Children's, or Fantasy. It's a fairly typical Disney movie, with some fun stuff, some ok performances, some predictable scenes, and some average dialogue.

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Strengths: Plot-wise, this was a movie well ahead of its time. The very idea of alien abduction became popular in the 90's with movies such as "Fire In The Sky" and "Independence Day", as well as TV series like "The X-Files" and "The 4400". But all those take the concept far too seriously, and "Flight Of The Navigator" is infinitely more fun to watch!

Weaknesses? You never really ever care enough to want to see if David gets home...

Our rating: 8 out of 10

Review Written by Paul Shrimpton:  Contact  |  More Reviews by Paul Shrimpton
Flight Of The Navigator