65 is at its best when it’s a survival story of a man trying to save the life of the little girl who effortlessly melts his stern exterior. Largely, the film is a reminder that I need to start watching The Last of Us.
Several years after his last outing as the Star Wars villain-turned-hero Kylo Ren, Adam Driver is back in the helmet. Well, sort of. He’s back in a helmet as Mills, the hero of the dinosaur sci-fi adventure film 65. It imagines a world 65 million years in the past in which a pilot from the planet Somaris is stranded on Earth after his ship runs into an asteroid belt. As he starts to explore the unknown terrain he landed on in his fancy spacesuit, it’s hard not to think of another time we heard Driver helmet-breathing.
Mills is a much more mature character. At the beginning of the film, we see him inform his wife (Nika King) and daughter (Chloe Coleman) that he’s going away on a work mission for two years. While his daughter is upset to see him leave, he’s doing so in order to be able to pay for the medical treatment that she needs. Throughout the film, we see flashbacks and video messages from his daughter, reminding us of Mills’s motivation and his identity as a father.
When his ship crashes and splits in two, Mills believes himself to be the only survivor at first. However, he soon discovers that a little girl named Koa (Ariana Greenblatt) has survived as well and is unaware that her parents were killed in the crash. Despite having a language barrier with the girl, Mills’s dad mode kicks in and he becomes determined to bring her to the escape pod on a mountain a distance away where the rest of the ship landed.
Written and directed by Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, 65 struggles mostly from a lackluster script. Driver and Greenblatt both play their roles as well as possible, though Driver does seem to be missing a bit of the intensity we’re used to seeing from him. The CGI of the dinosaurs is dodgy at times, though there are a number of jump scares that truly frightened my audience. It’s not a movie that’s focused on the creatures; they more provide background for the bonding between Mills and Koa, but it’s still stressful to watch.
The film’s biggest sins are its use of the fancy technology that Mills has that seems to solve every problem they encounter and including the most overused plot device for dinosaur films (I won’t spoil it though). There are a handful of gory moments, but it doesn’t provide anything intense enough for true thrill seekers.
Really, 65 is at its best when it’s a survival story of a man trying to save the life of the little girl who effortlessly melts his stern exterior. (One of my favorite bits involves her insisting on putting a flower in his hair.) Largely, the film is a reminder that I need to start watching The Last of Us. However, if you – like me – are only watching the film to see Adam Driver fight some dinosaurs and look beautiful while doing it, you won’t be disappointed.
Should be Considered: None.
Where to Watch: In Theaters
Living out her childhood dreams of being a writer, just like Jo March
Favorite Directors: Kenneth Branagh and Greta Gerwig