By Keith Walther | Rose Law Group Reporter
In what’s easily the worst dinosaur film since last year’s “Jurassic World: Dominion,” “65” somehow surpasses that pile of dino doodoo in its level of stink. This is a perfect example that a film needs more than a good actor to achieve a quality product. Adam Driver may be a talented actor, but no amount of talent could rescue this sci-fi thriller.
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, an astronaut named Mills (Adam Driver) accepts a two-year assignment to transport some vaguely explained scientific exploratory mission to some distant planet. It was a difficult decision for Mills to leave behind his wife Alya (Nika King) and their ill daughter Nevine (Chloe Coleman), but it would give them enough money to pay for Nevine’s medical care. Returning to his family becomes a problem when the ship finds itself being peppered with asteroids, forcing a crash landing on Earth…65 million years ago.
Only Mills and an inexplicable little girl named Koa (Ariana Greenblatt) survive the crash. No reason is given as to why this little girl was even on a scientific space mission in the first place, but to make matters worse she doesn’t speak English. In fact, Mills doesn’t even know what language she’s speaking. Communication relying on charades and pictograms isn’t the only challenge the pair must face. In order to get to their miraculously intact escape ship, they must traverse through a nightmarish landscape laden with carnivorous dinosaurs hellbent on having themselves a human snack. Oh, and it just so happens they crashed right before the massive asteroid hits that wiped out all the dinosaurs, so time is not on their side.
If this sounds like an utterly stupid and ridiculous story, it’s because it is. Scott Beck and Bryan Woods are the guilty parties, having both written and directed this farce. Surprisingly, their previous writing credits include both “A Quiet Place” movies, which were highly successful films. That success certainly didn’t translate to “65.” Even the title is foolish and based on historical inaccuracy because scientists have confirmed that the dino killing asteroid struck Earth closer to 66 million years ago, not 65. This inattention to detail extends to the dinosaurs themselves, looking nothing like their real versions. To paint the picture, they had a T-Rex galloping in pursuit on four legs in one scene. It doesn’t take a paleontologist to recognize T-Rex’s were bipedal creatures with two stubby little arms. Some of the other dinosaurs in the movie were complete fabrications that more resembled “A Quiet Place” alien monsters than actual dinosaurs.
If the dinosaurs weren’t bad enough, Scott and Bryan’s filmmaking style was even worse. Saying they telegraphed every key moment in the film would be an understatement. They would focus the audience’s attention on seemingly inconsequential and random things early in the movie, lingering the camera on those things to the point that makes revisiting that in an important way later in the movie a forgone conclusion. Such as when the young Koa character picks up poison berries and is told they are poisonous but stashes them in her backpack anyways, the audience is clearly made aware these berries are going to resurface later in the film. What they don’t know is that they foreshadow one of the worst climactic moments in cinema history that leaves the audience in stupefied laughter at the absurdity of the application.
Not only did two-time Oscar nominee Adam Driver have to carry a little girl on his shoulders in the film, but he also had to carry the film itself. Despite his incredible effort to restore some semblance of suspenseful entertainment through his acting alone, it’s not enough to overcome the sloppily written screenplay and poor directing. He might as well have brought his Kylo Ren lightsaber onto this set to match the story’s ridiculousness. Thankfully, this should only be a minor blip on Driver’s career as he’s set to star in Francis Ford Coppola’s next project, “Megalopolis,” as well as Michael Mann’s “Ferrari.”
As for the actress who plays the little girl, Ariana Greenblatt, all she did was speak gibberish and scream throughout the movie. Being a young actress, she needs a good script and directors, both of which were lacking here. Audiences will next get to see her in “Barbie,” which is releasing this summer.
“65” is insultingly predictable and lacks any credibility, completely eroding suspense and entertainment value. Only the biggest Adam Driver fans should see this movie, seeing as how he’s the only bright spot in an otherwise laughable thriller. In other words, “65” should be 86ed.
This movie earns: