I checked out 65, the newest sci-fi movie starring Adam Driver, to let you know if it is worth checking out.
Having been a fan of Adam Driver’s work since The Force Awakens in 2015, I was instantly sold on 65 the moment I saw Driver was going to be in a science-fiction movie. And that was before I learned about the film’s big twist. You see, 65 is so named because it’s a science-fiction story set 65 million years ago on the planet that will one day be known as Earth. Adam Driver plays Mills, a pilot whose ship crash lands onto a prehistoric wilderness. He and a little girl (Ariana Greenblatt) are the only survivors, and they’ll have to work together to get off the planet….provided the local wildlife (i.e. dinosaurs) don’t eat them first.
The biggest strength of 65 is that it is very much aware that people are tuning in to see Adam Driver fight dinosaurs, so it wastes very little time in moving the story along to get to that point. The story of the two humans struggling to survive prehistoric Earth is cleverly interwoven with backstory featuring Mills’ family, such that while the film is relatively short (93 minutes) you still leave with a fairly complete idea of who Mills is and what drives him.
The bulk of the film, outside the dinosaurs, focuses on the interactions between Mills and Koa (Ariana Greenblatt’s character) and it is a powerful performance. Driver in particular does an admirable job carrying the film. Watching him interact with his young co-star, it’s amazing to see the chemistry they have together. I found myself thinking several times throughout the movie that Driver and Greenblatt must have had a ball working together.
And then there’s the dinosaurs. I honestly have no idea if the dinosaurs shown in the film are accurate to the Cretaceous Period and in the end I’m not sure it matters. The dinosaurs in 65 are completely terrifying, even when you can’t see them. One thing this film does very well is building up the suspense by leaving subtle signs that the dinosaurs are around, through thumping sounds, and distant calls and roars, reminding you that the humans are definitely not alone.
While the dinosaurs are mostly perfectly believable as a real threat, there was one moment that bothered me. One of the dinosaurs, that I won’t specify due to plot reasons, was all-too-obviously CGI, and I was a little surprised that this design made it into the final cut. I say that because none of the other dinosaurs had this issue. The rest all looked scarily real, in fact I was reminded of Jurassic Park (in a good way) at several points.
If the film has one other flaw, it’s the setting. Perhaps I’m overthinking it, but it seems like there’s an easier way to have Adam Driver fight dinosaurs then to have the film set 65 million years in the past. It’s one of those premises where it’ll crumble slightly if you think about it too much. However, this is only a minor flaw as 65 works quite well as a popcorn film. If you want a quick 90 minutes of sci-fi action, this is the film for you.
All of this is to say that 65 is a fun flick that does all it can to entertain despite its slightly convoluted premise. The action is solid, and Adam Driver’s performance does more than enough to make up for any story flaws.