65 Review

The title card for 65 doesn’t emerge onscreen until 16 minutes into the runtime. That’s actually about one-sixth of the way through and (I think) it’s meant to serve as a surprise reveal. The trailer already spoiled it because (umm… spoiler alert?) that number refers to 65 million years ago on Earth when so-so looking CG dinosaurs roamed freely. I suspect a lot more roamed freely, but this movie’s budget might not have supported Jurassic Park or World level sizes.

Mills (Adam Driver) is a pilot on the planet Somaris whose sick daughter (Chloe Coleman) causes him to take on a two-year expedition to pay for her treatment. When an asteroid field causes his ship to crash, he lands on a planet filled the aforementioned creatures. It turns out (as we find either via TV spots, trailers, or after 16 minutes) that this extinction level event is about to make the dinos disappear. Alien Mills has collided into our planet at an inopportune time. He discovers one survivor from the accident – a preteen who speaks a foreign language named Koa (Ariana Greenblatt). The duo must find the other half of the wreckage lying atop a mountain that contains an escape hatch.

It’s a long haul to that locale as their words are lost in translation and future relics hunt them down. They do manage to bond and, yes, there are correlations to his ill offspring. The script from directors Scott Beck and Bryan Woods (who’ve done much better when they penned A Quiet Place) injects some humor into their interplay for about two or three minutes. A tone of somberness rules this for the remaining hour and a half.

As they make their uphill climb to safety, I was disappointed in how flat 65 feels. The effects are mostly bland. Of course, technicians haven’t really improved dino design since Jurassic Park 30 years ago and this is no exception. There is some occasional striking production design. Driver is a fine actor with a nothing part and there’s little character development with Koa either. At its best, this is serviceable. For the most part, what is happening on Earth is unremarkable.

** (out of four)

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