There was something about the trailer that got me really excited for this seemingly generic sci-fi film. Maybe it was the mix of Adam Driver, one of my favourite actors working, and being an almost Planet of the Apes-esque concept. I also feel like we’ve had strong sci-fi films like Life and Ad Astra in recent years which always give me hope and mean I forget about the weaker ones.
65 follows Adam Driver’s Mills as a Captain of a ship on a mission when the ship crashes on a mysterious planet. Only one of his passengers in cryosleep survives so they must embark on a trek across a forest which is filled with prehistoric creatures.
I like the concept of the film, but the film primarily fails in it’s execution. Writers and directors, Scott Beck and Bryan Woods might be best known for their work as writers on A Quiet Place, a film that perfectly executes tension and drama from director John Krasinski, and I think that’s where this film suffers, poor direction. There’s no tension, there’s no impact from the dinosaurs or when they’re on screen. The tension of the film should be from the fact that Mills needs to get across this forest in time and is having to deal with this terrifying threat, but it feels like it could’ve been set at anytime. The directing duo in an interview with DiscussingFilm want more films with Dinosaurs in them and I don’t think this is going to cause a big boost to that happening.
Adam Driver feels almost miscast in the role. I think he does an okay job, but just feels like an easier paycheck for him, and filled in some free time he had. His performance is okay, and I think he does as good of a job as anyone could’ve. He has decent chemistry with his young co-star Ariana Greenblatt, as basically the only two characters you see for 99% of the film, even if I didn’t like particularly one point between the characters which doesn’t get resolved.
The dinosaurs have some unique dinosaurs. I’ve watched all the Jurassic Park films of course, as well as David Attenborough’s Prehistoric Planet and the designs of the dinosaurs feel like a mix between the two, but are not shown in any special sort of way making them feel more generic, not giving the audience moments to really see what they can do, giving them minimal threat. I also really didn’t like the design of one dinosaur which looked like a crocodile with frog legs, very uncomfortable. The visual effects for them however are pretty strong, the dark lighting hides the fact it’s cheaper than the Jurassic films but when we can see them it looks okay, although the space travel looked slightly more like a video game.
Overall, 65 is a forgettable film with an awful title for starters. Decent ideas and decent moments aren’t enough to make this a strong film or standout. There’s a high bar for dinosaur films, even if my own personal bar for sci-fi is lower than most. From people that made A Quiet Place, I have a higher standard and in the hand of a better director it could’ve thrived.
What did you think of 65?
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