HomeEntertainmentGeneric survival movie ‘65’ mixes in sweet moments

Generic survival movie ‘65’ mixes in sweet moments

Published April 3, 2023

BY AINSLEY HENDERSON

Written and directed by duo Scott Beck and Bryan Woods and starring Adam Driver of “Star Wars” fame, Columbia Pictures’ “65” is nothing more than a generic survival thriller, as if “Jurassic Park” and “A Quiet Place” had a baby. 

The film follows Mills (Driver), a space pilot attempting to pay for his ailing daughter’s medical bills, and Koa (Ariana Greenblatt), a young girl, as they attempt to survive on a prehistoric Earth after Mills’s shuttle crashes into the planet. As the two traverse the planet in an attempt to make it to safety, the main obstacles they encounter are dinosaurs. Big dinosaurs. Small dinosaurs. Dinosaurs being shot at by space-age guns and exploded by futuristic orbs. 

Yawn. People are fed up with dinosaurs. Scary dinosaurs have been run into the ground by “Jurassic Park,” “The Lost World” and every subsequent “Jurassic Park” film. Enough. The concept of “65” is compelling, but when it turns out to be just “Jurassic Park” directed by two people who have an affinity for scary movies, the concept falters. Or gets hit by an asteroid. 

Adam Driver, the film’s lead, does a stupendous job at portraying space pilot Mills. (courtesy of SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT)

Beck and Woods, who co-wrote 2018’s “A Quiet Place,” are excellent at crafting bone-chilling movies, but unfortunately, dinosaurs are not bone-chilling. In the second half of “65,” it is like the writers are trying to add horror to the movie; however, one cannot expect the same level of suspense and fear that gripped “A Quiet Place” viewers to grip the audience of “65.”

Despite that, Driver and Greenblatt, who played a young Gamora in “Avengers: Infinity War,” are solid. Greenblatt, starring opposite a formidable actor, holds her own. Their chemistry is nothing to sneeze at, and Greenblatt’s emotions during the film’s climax are palpable.

Apart from the parts filled with dinosaurs, the substory is sweet and heartfelt. The character development is interesting to follow, and Driver does an excellent job of portraying a superhero-esque father figure as the two roam Earth.

Coming in at a short hour and a half, “65” is a refreshing length. Oftentimes, newly released movies are long, but “65” is just short enough to cover its main plot points while staying entertaining. No spoilers, of course, but the ending is the best part of the movie. It is touching to see the two characters form a bond.

For a movie with a $45 million dollar budget–comparatively low to current films–it is enjoyable. The CGI is great, but not outstanding, comparable to a Marvel TV show, and the soundtrack is not bad.

Ultimately, the movie could have done more with the premise than just dinosaurs. If you are looking for a thriller, or something similar to “Jurassic Park” set in a “Star Wars” universe, “65” is the perfect movie.

6/10

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