Directed by: Scott Beck and Bryan Woods
Distributed by: Sony Pictures Releasing
Written by Maria Athayde
Adam Driver is part of a rarified group of actors that I will watch no matter what sort of film they appear in. Unfortunately, not even he can save “65,” a movie with a premise that looked good on paper but was not actualized on screen. The plot is simple, Adam Driver is Mills, a pilot from the planet Solaris who is about to embark on a two-year mission to find a cure for his daughter’s illness. Some time into the voyage Mills’ ship is hit and incapacitated by an asteroid, causing it to crash into Earth 65 million years ago during the prehistoric era. All passengers aboard the ship die except for a young girl named Koa (Ariana Greenblatt). Together Mills and Koa must team up to fend off dinosaurs and make it to an escape pod to return home. This premise of Adam Driver versus dinosaurs sounded interesting, but “65” underdelivered in favor of a family drama of sorts.
Writer-directors Scott Beck and Bryan Woods surprisingly tried to amp up the drama by adding a language barrier between Mills (Driver) and Koa (Greenblatt) who does not speak English. This is one of a few decisions they made that didn’t have enough payoff or clear-cut plausibility. The dialogue in the movie is already sparse and making our leads unable to communicate added nothing substantive to the film. I suspect Beck and Woods decided to introduce this to add another layer of tension to their story however it was unwarranted. There was already plenty of suspense, seeing our characters face the unknown and dinosaurs as they tried to return to Solaris.
Driver and Greenblatt put their best foot forward and deliver good performances despite the limited screenplay. The VFX artists should also be commended for their work on the dinosaur designs which is why it was such a pity that they were rarely featured on screen. In the end, “65” underdelivered focusing too much on a family drama instead of showcasing what really matters dinosaurs!
You can follow Maria Manuella Pache de Athayde on Letterboxd, Serializd, Twitter, and view more of what she’s up to here.