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65 (2023)

Adam Driver 65 movie poster

It’s been a while since I did a film post but I watched a film recently that I felt compelled enough to share my thoughts about for one reason and another.

65 (2023)

Prior to watching this movie I’d been told by friends (and pretty much everyone else for that matter) that it wasn’t very good. And as if that wasn’t enough to put me off watching it I’d also read a few less-than-positive reviews about it. Still, I liked the premise so I decided to watch it anyway and make my own mind up.

If you haven’t seen it, it’s a sci-fi/action/adventure/thriller starring Adam Driver (the latest Star Wars trilogy - but don’t hold that against him) and the young and talented Ariana Greenblatt (Avengers: Infinity War).

It’s written and directed by Bryan Woods and Scott Beck - the two guys that wrote A Quiet Place (2018), and is co-produced by Sam Raimi (The Evil Dead trilogy and original Spider-Man trilogy).

This is what it’s about according to the internet:

“After a catastrophic crash on an unknown planet, pilot Mills quickly discovers he's actually stranded on Earth - 65 million years ago. Now, with only one chance at a rescue, Mills and the only other survivor, Koa, must make their way across an unknown terrain riddled with dangerous prehistoric creatures.”

(What that synopsis fails to mention is that the asteroid that’s said to have wiped out the dinosaurs is just days away from impact.)

There seems to be a popular trend in Hollywood at the moment of stories centred around an adult father figure tasked with ensuring the safety of a child. The Mandalorian does it, The Last of Us did it (although that’s based on a game), The Witcher does it (so I’m told) and so did Logan (2017). Not to be outdone, this film does it too.

As much as I tried to watch this movie with an open mind, when you’re armed with the knowledge that the film you’re about to watch has had a bashing from both movie goers and critics alike, it’s hard not to be critical of it from the start. It’s like I expected it to be bad and was looking for things to fault about it.

The first thing I noticed was that some of the CGI during the early space scenes looked a bit low budget. Nonetheless I stuck with it and I’m actually quite glad I did, because before I knew it I found I was getting drawn more and more into the story and I stopped looking for things to pick at.

The concept is a really interesting one. I’ve seen countless sci-fi and dinosaur movies over the years, but until now I don’t think I’ve ever seen one that explores the idea of someone from a world much like ours landing on earth during the Cretaceous period when dinosaurs were wandering about.

Unsurprisingly, coming from the minds that brought us A Quiet Place (not to mention Sam Raimi’s involvement) it has a much darker tone than, for instance, the Jurassic Park movies that we’ve all become so familiar with over the years. The dinosaurs in this film actually seem scarier and more primal than the ones in those films. And it’s not just Earth’s inhabitants that pose a threat - the planet itself is an incredibly hostile place, and when dinosaurs aren’t trying to eat him, Adam Driver’s character is trying to survive all manner of geological dangers.

It all makes for some thrilling, action-packed scenes, not to mention a fair bit of tension throughout.

Adam Driver and Ariana Greenblatt are pretty much the only two actors in the movie but both do a really good job of carrying it - especially considering the fact that a language barrier prevents their characters (Mills and Koa) from being able to communicate easily. Some of the scenes where Mills is trying to explain their mission to his young companion Koa, I thought really helped to form their relationship.

Adam Driver is essentially the main star of this film and he puts in a great performance, but I have to say it’s Ariana Greenblatt that steals the show. She’s absolutely brilliant!

All in all this film was better than I was expecting it to be. I do feel like it had the potential to be much better, especially considering the interesting premise. However, much like The Last of Us it chooses to make the relationship between the two main characters the main focus and that’s fine by me. There was more than enough Dino-action in it to prevent me from feeling robbed by the end credits.

If you like the idea of a movie that’s a cross between After Earth (2013), Passengers (2016), Jurassic Park (1993) and Kong: Skull Island (2017) I recommend checking this out. It probably won’t blow your socks off but with a sensible runtime of just 1 hour 33 minutes you won’t have wasted too much of your life if you don’t love it.

65 is currently showing in cinemas but it won’t be for long, so unless you’d prefer to wait for it to come to streaming platforms get your tickets now.

Seen it? Let me know what you think. 👇

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