Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon MOVIES: 65 - Review

SpoilerTV - TV Spoilers

MOVIES: 65 - Review

Share on Reddit

Scott Beck and Bryan Woods’ science fiction thriller 65 is the latest in a long line of high-budget science fiction movies that seem destined to fail on arrival, but there are ingredients for success here. It’s not awful, and the fact that we have movies like this and Plane in cinemas at the moment is a sign of a healthy industry: competition alongside the big names, and the fact that this is from the writers of A Quiet Place, starring Adam Driver, gives it the kind of pedigree that most science fiction movies that aren’t part of franchises could only dream of.

After an exploration mission goes wrong leaving them stranded as the sole survivors following a collision with a meteor field, pilot Mills and newly-orphaned Koa, both with a language barrier in between them, find themselves stranded on an alien planet – that’s only alien to them. For us – as the title cards employ, it’s Earth – 65 million years ago. 65 wisely kept the mystery of where Driver’s character was from a secret, opening with some hardcore science fiction mumbo-jumbo, and is a slog to get started as a result – but the film picks up when he and Ariana Greenblatt’s character find themselves stranded on Earth, an Earth at ten minutes to midnight – right before the dinosaurs are destroyed by the same meteor field that took out their ship. They must get off the planet – and not be eaten by the deadly creatures that call the planet their own.

65 is a tight 95 minutes (remember when movies were under 100 minutes?) but feels like it was hacked to pieces by the studio. Shots don’t linger and barely breath, a David Attenborough-esque montage of prehistoric Earth is rushed and the small moments between the characters feel all plot driven. There’s squarely any character work done here – you get the set up between Mills and his daughter to give the film some kind of emotional stakes – think I Am Legend, think any other science fiction movie that you’ve seen before – and the visuals and CGI make the most out of its lengthy budget to create reasonably realistic dinosaurs, and whilst I do like the bond that Koa and Mills film over the film – their language barrier making it reminiscent of Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Darmok, where Picard has to work together with an alien to survive after the translators fail.

Unfortunately here the tech that Mills and Koa employ feels a bit too much like a get-out-of-jail free clause, the increase on survival elements would’ve done a great deal to help this film. As a result the promised fun – whilst pitting Driver against multiple T-Rex dinosaurs, lacks the sense of fun and feels entirely too serious for its own good – it’s a pandemic-era film meaning that there’s a distinct lack of extras in the prequel short which we rush through to avoid putting Mills in the same scene as many other characters – and once we get to the survival aspects, there are moments that the film shines – but they are few and far between, lacking the consistency needed to really shine. There’s some clever usages of the dinosaurs but nothing that you won’t have seen before, and the constant formula that 65 uses becomes fairly tiresome quite quickly.

That said, the film introduces its ticking clock and I almost cheered – the ticking clock approach is a golden staple of cinema and this is why it never should be abandoned – it really gives 65 the best edge that it could as we all know Mills will come on top against the dinosaurs. We know this stuff. We know Driver’s good at what he does, donning his action hero guise. What we don’t know is 65’s not-so-secret weapon, the brilliant Ariana Greeblatt, who just about holds the thing together – capable of being brilliantly understated as the role requires. I do think if anything the film could’ve used more dinosaurs – the T-Rex is saved to the end for a chilling moment in a cave that leads to an extended set-piece, but they’re largely kept to background fodder which is a bit of a shame – and that’s partly due to the fact that they’re all taken out a little too quickly due to the science fiction mechanics of it all, which are – whilst the main selling point of the film, also its own downfall.

Sign Up for the SpoilerTV Newsletter where we talk all things TV!


SpoilerTV Available Ad-Free!

Support SpoilerTV is now available ad-free to for all subscribers. Thank you for considering becoming a SpoilerTV premmium member!
Latest News