The Last Flight of Noah's Ark (1980) starring Elliott Gould, Geneviève Bujold, Ricky Schroder, Vincent Gardenia directed by Charles Jarrott Movie Review

The Last Flight of Noah's Ark (1980)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Geneviève Bujold and Elliott Gould in The Last Flight of Noah's Ark (1980)

The Floating Farm

With a couple of bookies after him over some unpaid debts, pilot, Noah Dugan (Elliott Gould) is desperate, which is why he reluctantly agrees to fly missionary Bernadette Lafleur (Geneviève Bujold) and her cargo of farm animals to an island where she plans to help the locals. But it is not just animals who are aboard the plane as a couple of children, Bobby (Ricky Schroder) and Julie (Tammy Lauren) have snuck aboard just as the plane was about to take off. But an issue with the planes navigational equipment leads to them ending up off course and forced to put down on a remote island where they come across two Japanese soldiers who have been there since WWII, unaware that the war is over. With the plane no longer able to fly their best chance of getting off the island is to turn Noah's plane into Noah's ark.

In all honesty "The Last Flight of Noah's Ark" does nothing for me, that doesn't mean it is a bad movie but one which as a grown up watching it for the first time many years after it was released it doesn't keep me entertained. But of course it isn't meant to as "The Last Flight of Noah's Ark" is a Walt Disney movie from 1980 aimed at a young market and part of me suspects if I had been taken to see this as a child in 1980 it would have amused me although not wowed me.

Ricky Schroder in The Last Flight of Noah's Ark (1980)

The trouble for me when it comes to "The Last Flight of Noah's Ark" is it feels like a collection of the familiar. Take Noah being sarcastic and anti kids; not only does the sarcasm aspect feel like stereotypical Elliott Gould but in a way it reminds me of an earlier movie called "Father Goose" starring Cary Grant as a grumpy islander stuck with a teacher and her kids to look after. Then there is the whole idea of getting off the island by turning the plane in to a boat which again is all too familiar with scenes reminiscent of the earlier "The Flight of the Phoenix" and in truth I could go on because there was little in "The Last Flight of Noah's Ark" which didn't remind me of earlier movies.

My biggest issue with "The Last Flight of Noah's Ark" is the lack of character as whilst you have Gould delivering that familiar don't care, wise cracking sarcasm the rest of the characters end up forgettable be it Geneviève Bujold as Bernadette Lafleur or young Ricky Schroder as Bobby. It's not really that the actors do a bad job of playing the characters; just the characters themselves are poorly written.

What this all boils down to is that "The Last Flight of Noah's Ark" probably did put a smile on the faces of children back in 1980, but now it is just a so-so Walt Disney picture which might provide some nostalgia for those who watched it back in 1980 but not a huge amount for anyone else.