March 24, 2023

65 million years ago, Adam Driver roamed the Earth. Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, the writers of A Quiet Place, wrote this sci-fi horror action thriller. This film follows Mills, a pilot who crash-lands on an unknown planet, which turns out to be Earth during the Cretaceous period. Armed with a set of futuristic weapons, Mills must fend off the dinosaurs while bringing a young girl named Koa (Ariana Greenblatt) to safety. 65 wastes its unique concept on a bloated, pedestrian thriller with a thin screenplay that never allows it to rise above the rest.

Steven Spielberg ruined movies. Once he made Jaws, nobody could ever make a shark movie as good as that. And once he made Jurassic Park, nobody could ever make a dinosaur movie that could reach those levels of greatness. Kudos to Beck and Woods for trying because it’s no easy task, but unfortunately, the film needs to do more with its concept. Putting a human in a landscape filled with dinosaurs is a fun idea, but the movie takes it and does the “lone wolf and cub” concept. Those who have been keeping up with The Last of Us are familiar with trained warriors bringing a young girl to safety, but this movie does it with dinos instead of zombies, without any of the quality.

Part of the reason it doesn’t work is that Driver and Greenblatt share little chemistry. Although the movie gives them a few moments to bond, there is a language barrier between them, and the film only sometimes allows them to communicate without words. Furthermore, Driver has proven himself an excellent actor in previous films, bringing much of his intensity to this movie. However, Driver fails to bring out his inner Schwarzenegger, with a movie concept similar to Predator but with no charisma needed to carry a film with this idea.

It’s fun to see Oscar-nominated Adam Driver show up for some B-movie action schlock, but the film takes itself too seriously to have fun. Some exposition is sloppily given through title cards, and there is a moment that feels reminiscent of the scene in Interstellar where Matthew McConaughey watches clips of his children growing up. However, 65 never captures the emotion of that scene, with its mediocre storytelling. The film has a few attempts at a ticking clock, developed characters, and a goal they’re trying to reach, but it could be more inventive. The contrast between futuristic tech and old-fashioned dinos is a good idea, but the weapons feel more like regular guns with cool lights on them rather than unique weapons we have not seen before in a film. 

Ultimately, 65 is a misfire. The performances are good, and there are a few moments of intense action, but the film has little to offer beyond what you’re used to seeing in a creature feature. Suppose you’re looking for a story along these lines. In that case, you’re better off watching The Last of Us or Logan or Léon: The Professional because even though dinosaurs make for some fun movies, this film’s breezy runtime cannot save it from being a lifeless thriller.

SCORE: 5/10

As ComingSoon’s review policy explains, a score of 5 equates to “Mediocre.” The positives and negatives wind up negating each other, making it a wash.

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