’65’ Review: “A Different Kind of Disaster Movie”
I love Adam Driver and will go well out of my way to watch anything he’s in. The guy has terrific range and can pull off action, drama, and comedy within mere seconds of each other. When the trailer for 65 first debuted online, excitement coursed through my veins. Driver working to keep a child safe from dinosaurs during the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event? I knew that I had to be there on day one.
The film wastes absolutely no time establishing itself. It displays the stakes within the first few minutes of the film. Driver stars as a space pilot named Mills with a loving wife and a beautiful daughter named Nevine. Nevine is suffering from some sort of illness that Mills is desperate to come up with the money to cure. Their bond cannot be more wholesome and pure. Unfortunately, the cost to save her life manifests itself into a two-year journey for Mills that will take him away from everything he cherishes. The film immediately takes on the journey which does not take very long at all.
As Mills and his passengers lie in a state of cryogenic sleep, the ship crashes into an asteroid belt and lands on a mysterious planet. He realizes he is likely the only survivor and contemplates suicide. However, he ultimately steadies himself as he tries to survive the treacherous terrain. This leads to a surprising title card 20 minutes into the film that reveals Mills is a visitor to planet earth 65 million years ago. The pace creates a sense of urgency for the film that holds throughout its 90-minute runtime.
Driver is joined by Ariana Greenblatt who portrays a surprising co-survivor of the crash. The young actress gets several opportunities in this film to steal the show and she certainly does not disappoint. Her character, Koa, is a little girl who doesn’t understand English and is viscerally shaken up by the experience. The dynamic between Mills and Koa holds the film together with a shroud of the father/daughter relationship seen at the beginning of the film. There is a sadness to them both that keeps them bonded along with the fear that comes across every time they encounter the opposition of the film: dinosaurs.
The film is, at its core, a man vs dinosaur flick that’s been made famous due to the success of the Jurassic Park franchise. Mills needs to use his skillset to combat a variety of creatures that mean him and Koa harm. The action scenes are a bit too short as he and his futuristic firearm seem to keep the monsters at bay. With that being said, the film never allows moviegoers to feel as if the pace is dragging.
The film truly kicks into high gear when the asteroid threat appears. Mills and Koa just happen to have crash-landed when the biggest apocalyptic event in the planet’s history is about to occur. Going into the film, I had no idea the stakes would be this high. However, the added stakes definitely make every single move that the duo makes feel more important. Moreover, the bond between the two feels special as their collective fate is consistently in question.
Overall, 65 serves as a fun time as the movies. While the story tends to race past a few emotional beats, the performances are enough to keep it all together as a thrilling adventure into the unknown. – Christian Hubbard
65 is out now in theaters everywhere.
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