Review: ’65,’ starring Adam Driver

March 9, 2023

by Carla Hay

Adam Driver and Ariana Greenblatt in “65” (Photo by Patti Perret/Columbia Pictures)


Directed by Scott Beck and Bryan Woods

Culture Representation: Taking place 65 million years ago, mostly on Earth, the sci-fi action film “65” features a cast of white and black characters representing beings (who look human) from another planet.

Culture Clash: An interstellar pilot from another planet crashes his spaceship on Earth, where the only talking being he finds is an orphaned girl, and they are surrounded by deadly dinosaurs. 

Culture Audience: “65” will appeal primarily to people who are fans of star Adam Driver and action movies with dinosaurs, no matter how silly those movies are.

Chloe Coleman in “65” (Photo by Patti Perret/Columbia Pictures)

The sci-fi movie “65” might have had a major studio budget, but it’s a minor and embarrassing footnote in Adam Driver’s career. What was he thinking to sign up for this shoddy and idiotic mess of a movie? It’s a hodgepodge of ripoffs of much better films, such as “Jurassic Park,” “A Quiet Place” and “The Man Who Fell to Earth.”

Written and directed by Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, “65” is a misfire on almost every level. Beck and Woods are co-writers of 2018’s “A Quiet Place,” and “65” is obviously aspiring to be that type of crowd-pleasing blockbuster. “65” has similarities to “A Quiet Place” in how it’s about an adult/child trek through dangerous territory plagued by giant, deadly creatures. “65” is supposed to take 65 million years ago on Earth, with Earth’s dinosaurs as the menacng beasts, whereas “A Quiet Place” has outer-space aliens doing the attacking.

There’s really not much of a plot in “65,” because the movie is just mindless scene after mindless scene of dinosaur attacks, with no character development or anything interesting to say about what Earth was like 65 million years ago. Even with the required suspension of disbelief for this train-wreck film—such as, most of the characters not only speak English, but they also speak English with an American accent, even though the English language and the United States did not exist 65 million years ago—the last 15 minutes of the movie are completely insulting to viewers’ intelligence.

In “65,” Driver portrays a interstellar pilot named Mills, who lives on an outer-space planet with advanced technology. Mills goes on a two-year mission to Earth with several passengers, whose identities are never shown in detail in the movie. The first scene of “65” shows Mills on a beach on his home planet, with his wife or partner (played by Neka King) and their adolescent daughter Nevine (played by Chloe Coleman), who are both reluctant to have him go away on this mission.

When his spaceship crashes on Earth because of a random and unexpected meteor, the spaceship is split in two and is inoperable. Keep that in mind during the last 15 minutes of the movie. At first, Mills think he’s the only survivor of this crash. He has a gun, as well as bombs shaped like billiards, that he uses as weapons. Mills is able to send a message to his planet to call for help, but will help arrive in time?

Soon after crashing in a swampy area, Mills finds another survivor of the spaceship crash: a girl named Koa (played by Ariana Greenblatt), who was in a cyrogenic pod. Koa, who is about 9 years old, doesn’t speak English (she speaks an unnamed language that was fabricated for the movie), but Mills finds ways to communicate with her. Meanwhile, Mills has holograms, videos and photos of Nevine, whose fate is revealed later in the movie. Most of “65” consists of contrived jump scares, as Mills and Koa try to dodge and defend themselves against dinosaurs and other deadly creatures around them in a forest area that resemble a jungle. (“65” was actually filmed in Oregon.)

Even though Mills goes through a lot of injuries that would leave most people incapacitated and bloodied (including a dislocated shoulder that he relocates just in time during a dinosaur attack), Mills’ shirt is barely soiled and is not torn for a great deal of the movie. As the Mills character, Driver just seems to be going through the motions in this poorly conceived movie, which can’t even come close to 1993’s “Jurassic Park,” in terms of dinosaur action and thrills. The movie “65” goes back in time, but unfortunately, people who waste time watching this dreck won’t be able to get that time back.

Columbia Pictures will release “65” in U.S. cinemas on March 10, 2023.

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