By Megan Bianco
This late winter/early spring period of the year is always my least favorite for new movies, because it’s traditionally when the studios just dump most of their flops.
With Scott Beck and Bryan Woods’ 65, I thought, surely male lead Adam Driver and some CG dinosaurs could entertainingly make up a most likely predictable script. But, sadly, I couldn’t even be met with that simple of a request.
Unlike Frances O’Connor’s Emily and Jamie Dack’s Palm Trees and Power Lines, which both recently frustrated me with narrative and direction decisions, 65 does the opposite and plays it so safe, it’s completely boring.
Rather than set it a million years into the future, we go back 65 million years ago, “in a galaxy far, far away …” The protagonist, Commander Mills (Driver), is piloting a spaceship traveling from his fictional planet to bring a group of passengers to another planet, so Mills can afford a medical procedure for his daughter, Nevine (Chloe Coleman).
But mid-flight, a ship hits an asteroid and crash-lands onto pre-historic planet Earth, killing all the passengers except for Mills and a little girl named Koa (Ariana Greenblatt).
As you can see from the ads, 65 quickly turns into Driver and Greenblatt versus wild dinosaurs and an ominously looming meteor shower. In many ways, this is the inverse of Dan Trachtenberg’s Prey from last year. But while Prey was a basic Predator prequel executed well technically, 65 feels like everyone just signed on for a quick paycheck.
There is very little dialogue for multiple scenes of the sci-fi journey, similar to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). But at least that classic is visually saying something philosophical through science fiction and filmmaking.
65 is just a guy and a girl stuck on ancient Earth with no resources. Many times, we’re reminded of other famous movies that were more memorable.
The action sequences in 65 don’t bring anything new to the blockbuster formula, and the forgettable characters with the barely-there plot make you need to fight from dozing off. The audience’s lack of interest might distract from some of the convenient plot armor going on, too.
Driver is one of the most interesting actors out there in cinema and has a lot of variety with his movie choices, so he will be fine in the long run. But I’m not sure what Beck and Woods’ follow-up to their first big bomb is going to be.