65 – Movie Review

TL;DR – There is a scaffolding of a good film here, but not the substance needed

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a sequence during the credits

Disclosure – I paid to see this film.

A dinosaur footprint in the mud.

65 Review

Many things can capture my attention, and “Adam Driver Fights Dinosaurs” might be one of the quickest ways to do it. I knew practically nothing about 65 before walking in, but that tagline was enough, even when I heard it was not being screened for critics. Now that I have seen it, maybe I should have been a touch more hesitant.

So to set the scene, 65 million years ago, other species were exploring the galaxy. One such was Mills (Adam Driver) from the planet Somaris who takes a 2-year extended mission guarding some colonists so he could make enough money to save his daughter Nevine (Chloe Coleman), who is sick. However, along the route, the ship runs into an undocumented meteor swarm and crashes into an uncharted planet. But not just any old unknown world, because this is Earth and dinosaurs still rule the roost, and Mills and the only other survivor Koa (Ariana Greenblatt), have to fight for survival.   

Prehistoric Earth.
Dinosaurs + Lasers is a good combination. Image Credit: Sony.

Now I am going to be quite critical of 65, but I don’t want that to give the impression that some moments are not super fun. Even if most of the film does not work, dinosaurs + lasers are a good combination. Adam Driver and Ariana Greenblatt make a good team, which helps so much. I liked the production design of all the alien tech. It is futuristic but has a more mechanical/practical movement. This is an odd design, but the combination works. Also, I got big Greenland vibes from the third act, which is a good thing. Added to all this were a couple of well-choreographed action scenes, with the battle shown via the contact sensor being my favourite.

However, the first significant misstep is that it decides not to use any dinosaurs or at least any well-known ones, bar an almost T-Rex. From a realism perspective, it makes sense because we have barely scratched the surface of the fossil record, so there would be whole groups of dinos that we have never found. However, realism is not what the film needs, and much like Terra Nova, it feels like it undermined the whole concept of it being on Earth when you could have said this was an alien planet, and I would have believed you.

A T-Rex skeleton.
It felt like there was a missed opertunity with the dinosaurs. Image Credit: Sony.

Then we come to the structural problems with the story. This is a narrative that is overburdened with narrative conceits that simply did not need to be there. Trying to get from one half of your ship to the other through 15km of forest infested with dinosaurs that want to eat you is all the motivation you need for the film. Okay, you may want to add in the lie that the kid’s parents are on the other ship to add an emotional layer. But on top of this, we add that the two can’t understand each other, which undercuts much of the narrative potential when you have limited space to explore it. Oh, and there is a ticking ‘extinction level event’ clock. The film has to spend so much time buttressing up these extra facets that it does not have time for the substance needed to fill it out.   

In the end, do we recommend 65? Look, I know this might say more about me or maybe the current state of the cinema industry, but if this had dropped one night on Netflix or something like that, I probably would not have been as harsh on it as I was. However, when you are getting people to pay a decent chunk to be there, then it has got to land a bit better than this. If you liked 65, we would recommend to you The Wandering Earth II.  

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

Have you watched 65?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us
Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day. 

Credits –
All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of 65
Directed by
–  Scott Beck & Bryan Woods
Written by – Scott Beck & Bryan Woods
Music by – Danny Elfman & Chris Bacon
Cinematography by – Salvatore Totino
Edited by – Josh Schaeffer & Jane Tones
Production/Distribution Companies – Beck Woods, Bron Creative, Columbia Pictures, Raimi Productions & Sony Pictures Entertainment
Starring – Adam Driver, Ariana Greenblatt, Chloe Coleman & Nika King
Rating – Australia: M; Canada: 14A; Germany: 16; New Zealand: na; United Kingdom: 12A; United States: PG-13


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