Film Review: “65”


Screengrab of: "65"

Hollywood A-lister Adam Driver stars in a new sci-fi/action film “65”. Stranded on Earth 65 million years ago, Mills (Adam Driver) must do what he must to survive and make it back home. The film was released on March 10, 2023 and was directed by Scott Beck and Bryan Woods.

Cassandra Bauer, Film Reviewer

In an age where theaters are being taken over by reboots and sequels, “65” manages to be one of the few original films on the big screen this month, making it worth a watch.

Miles (Adam Driver) is part of an advanced civilization full of generic high-tech inventions and innovative ways of travel that exist on another planet before the dawn of man. He is a space pilot and explorer who takes on a two-year trek in an attempt to earn enough money to save his sick daughter. This mission quickly goes south after his ship is struck by a passing asteroid and their course is redirected to a crash landing on a prehistoric earth. Miles is close to giving up when all passengers are thought to be dead, but after finding a young girl about the age of his dying daughter, he is filled with motivation to get them both back home.

This young girl, Koa (Ariana Greenblatt), doesn’t speak English, which leads to many moments of confusion between her and Miles. But despite their language barrier, they must learn to work together on a journey to find the ship’s lost escape pod. The pair are too quick to realize they are not alone on this hazardous planet but are surrounded by giant beasts we know as dinosaurs. This survivalist journey manages to get even more challenging as Miles and Koa traverse through thick vegetation, evade venomous insects, escape the thrashing jaws of giant dinosaurs all while the threat of a life-ending asteroid looms in the distance.

If you liked the leading tag team in HBO’s hit show “The Last of Us”, you’ll find a similar dynamic of an emotionally unavailable grumpy man paired with a sassy young girl in this film. While this is an entertaining concept, it doesn’t carry quite as much chemistry in “65”.

The writing duo that brought us “A Quiet Place” (2018), both write and direct this sci-fi epic, though this film certainly doesn’t hold up against their inventive modern horror classic. The level of inventive filmmaking just isn’t found here, and it has the stuffy feel of a COVID-made production. It has a very small cast with only five people being credited as actors in the film.

One of said actors is of course Adam Driver. This seems like a bit of a peculiar choice for Driver who lately seems to be focusing on art films from acclaimed directors (minus his stint in Star Wars). He has proved his ability to be both a serious and comedic actor, but these skills don’t appear to be on display in this film. Driver tries to be funny, and I know he has the ability to be funny, but he just can’t get humor through the muddled script. But perhaps this mid-tier schlock is what’s needed to round out Driver’s career.

This is the type of 90-minute popcorn escapism that used to be the bread and butter of the theater experience. It’s a generic original action movie that still has stakes. It’s not bad enough to drag it through the mud, but it’s not good enough to sing its praises. The bottom line is it’s short, it’s simple and it’s not a sequel.

Watch “65” in theaters now.