LifeIsXbox’s 65 Review | I’ve always been fond of sci-fi movies, and especially fond of Dinosaurs. Jurassic Park was one of my favorite films of all time, and so 65 really piqued my interest when I first saw the trailer. Taking a quick moment to talk about the trailer, it does something very few trailers actually do, and that is, it reveals the twist of the movie in the trailer. usually, this is a hook to grab your attention and make you see the movie to find out more, but 65 is very confident in what it has here that it knows you will want to see it regardless. 65 takes you on a journey in which Pilot Mills is tasked with transporting passengers on a 2-year journey to another planet when he crashes on an uncharted planet. As the trailer gives away, the planet is Earth, 65 million years ago when Dinosaurs roamed the planet.
65 is directed by Scott Beck and Bryan Woods and Distributed by Sony Pictures. It Stars Adam Driver as the main lead with a supporting role by Arian Greenblatt.
What We Liked!
- Special & practical effects | With any sci-fi film, it’s important to note the sort of things they would have and use that are not going to be recognised. To achieve this we have physical effects for all of the items that Mills uses in the film. Tiny ball-bearing grenades, a sonic pulse rifle that can switch ammo types that can be locked and unlocked with his fingerprint. We have healing items, sensory drones, and a telescope that scans and gives 3D data on the world and its current location. Everything feels authentic and in place for a film like this given its backdrop. It also shows how alone he is given that on many occasions his equipment will fail due to not having enough data on the surrounding areas, often landing Mills in situations that despite being prehistoric, he is unequipped to deal with because of his lack of experience with it.
For the non-physical items, we have special effects which are mainly used during the opening scenes in space, and for the Dinosaurs. These are great. The special effects are some of the best I have seen in a while with animations, skin, and sounds of the Dinosaurs being some of the most realistic ones I have seen to date.
- The cast | 65 doesn’t have many actors in the movie due to it being a rather lonely adventure and with the main attraction being focused on the Dinosaurs themselves. We have Adam Driver as Mills, the pilot, and main character. Arian Greenblatt plays the only other surviving member of the crash who speaks another language as she lives off-world to Mills meaning communication is hard. There are more supporting characters such as Chloe Coleman who plays Mill’s sick daughter and reason for taking the job, and finally Nika King, the wife of Mills. Each actor does a great job at acting. At no point did it not feel authentic, purposeful, and fit within the context of the story.
- Dinosaurs | Dinosaurs are the main attraction here with many of the familiar ones taking center stage. We have the usual T-Rex, Diplodocus, Utahraptor, Deinonychus, Velociraptor, and Quetzalcoatlus. There is one instance of an unknown type of Dinosaur, which I am unsure if it’s real. But even so, it’s a really solid design with a nice way of bringing some original design into the movie.
- The Twist | As I mentioned in the intro, the twist in 65 is revealed in its trailer. While I don’t want to focus too much on this point as I really do encourage people to watch the movie, it is worth noting that this isn’t the only twist. Some eagle-eyed watchers will pick up pretty quickly what is happening, and the film’s introduction has an altered title sequence that I wasn’t expecting. It’s very well executed and really sets the tone for the rest of the movie.
- The Plot | I have to admit, I was a sucker for the plot. Despite being given away by the trailer, it still managed to wow me with just how crazy of a concept this was. You crash land on a planet, that planet is Earth, 65 million years ago. This makes the main characters Aliens themselves in the context of things, and Dinosaurs as we know them are the creatures that inhabit the planet. Hearing the characters refer to them as Aliens was kind of weird and strange, but in their shoes, I guess they would be right. Not only this, but the story actually centers around the last 24 hours of Earth before it is wiped out by the asteroid that we know wiped out life on Earth. Having this as one of the sub-plots of the film was a great way to give Mills the drive to get off the planet, and head home.
- The Pacing | Sometimes movies don’t know when they have something good, and decide that it will be secondary to everything else. 65 has a pretty good plot as mentioned above, but it also has a decent sub-plot filled with character development, stories, and lore that I as the viewer wanted to know more about. At just 90 minutes, 65 felt like it missed a lot of important details that I really wanted to be fleshed out. Similarly to games, movies are a great way of relaxing, being transported to somewhere else entirely, and you believe in those characters and their problems for the time you are with them. Adam Driver’s character has a lot to unpack here but it is never fully realised in the time he is given on screen. Adam, who plays Mills, has a really sick daughter. You never learn what she is sick from, just that he needs the money to treat her and that it is 2 years long. The film quickly throws you into the departing of Mills with no real goodbye. Just off he goes. Then there is a crash, followed by an almost immediate attack from Dinosaurs. I really feel like the 90 minutes could have been pushed to 2 hours as there were some really good character development opportunities here that were missed. Even the girl he rescues has family somewhere that is never fully explained or found. Despite it being very apparent that they are dead, some closure would have been a good move overall.
What we Disliked
- The Ending | As quickly as it started 65 is over. Without giving anything away, the movie serves its purpose but it is full of unfinished sub-plots that leave you feeling a little unsatisfied. The main ending is a little lackluster as well with no jaw-dropping moments of near-death combat. Given how quickly this film sets itself up, it’s a shame to see it end so quickly, and have it end with no real closure for either character.
You’ll love this if you liked: Jurassic Park, Oblivion, and A Quiet Place.
65 is a good movie overall that many will find entertaining. Sadly, it is filled with unsolved sub-plots, subpar character development, and backstories that are never fully fleshed out. At 90 minutes it will keep you entertained through its good practical and special effects and decent main story plot twist.
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I make my own games as part of my profession and love playing co op games with friends in my spare time. Avid dog lover and camper van enthusiast.