Title – 65 (2023)
Directors – Bryan Woods & Scott Beck (Haunt)
Cast – Adam Driver, Ariana Greenblatt, Chloe Coleman
Plot – Crash-landing on a mysterious planet, astronaut Mills (Driver) discovers he is not alone and must fight for his survival anyway he can.
“65 million years ago, prehistoric Earth had a visitor”
Review by Eddie on 16/03/2023
The exact type of big budgeted B-movie you would expect from the likes of John Carpenter in his 80’s heyday and the exact type of film you wouldn’t expect critically adored actor Adam Driver to lead, 65 is a close to $100 million dollar budgeted sci-fi actioner that we don’t get a lot of these days but despite a great premise that could be gold if mined correctly, this Sam Raimi produced original offering is merely passable entertainment helped along its way by the skill set of its leading man,
Directed by duo Bryan Woods and Scott Beck who are still most well known as the team responsible for the A Quiet Place script but are also behind mediocre films such as Nightlight and Haunt, 65 is the type of no frills exercise that wastes minimal screentime bothering about anything in the way of significant character development or plot establishment as Driver’s caring father and astronaut Mills has his deep space expedition rudely interrupted by an asteroid storm that forces him to crash land on a mysterious planet that just so happens to be Earth, of the dinosaur inhabited kind.
In what could be a John Wick meets Jurassic Park hybrid, 65 mostly sticks to a well-worn formula set by many previous survival against the odds like features, with Woods and Beck unable to instil the film with any significantly memorable set pieces that often include entirely fabricated versions of dinosaurs that have been designed and doctored to suit the needs of the film, making 65 an at times enjoyable slice of popcorn movie-making pie but in most instances, merely a film that feels like it could’ve been much more exciting and imaginative, especially with the support of Driver at its centre.
Usually seen in the likes of awards contenders like Marriage Story or Silence or devouring dialogue heavy characters in indie darlings like Paterson or Frances Ha, one time Marine Corp Driver finally gets to utilise his prior skills in 65 with much of his time spent running, gunning and panting through dino-infested landscapes with Ariana Greenblatt’s Koa closely following but while the actor can walk away from this different type of venture holding his head high, it’s a shame Driver wasn’t able to influence other parts of the film to make more of an impact in the spectacle or emotional stakes departments.
The type of high-concept pedestrian offering you’re more likely to catch on a streaming service over the big screen in this day and age, 65 isn’t an offensive offering but its an extremely forgettable version of a story that just might have been a taut and thrilling genre standout had the stars aligned.
Final Say –
65 would’ve done well taking some cues and pointers from its producer Sam Raimi’s back catalogue as it struggles to bring any spark or magic to life in a simplified sci-fi action flick that could’ve been a B-movie delight.
2 1/2 dislocated shoulders out of 5
I’m very sorry to hear that this movie is mostly forgettable, I was looking forward to a fun sci-fi action film that’s not yet another sequel or remake. Hopefully Adam Driver can still find a good role in a more mainstream kind of movie with an actual good script.
He tried his hardest here and the film did have a few moments but it was unable to become that rare B movie that elevated itself. Had a lot of potential, shame it didn’t come together.
They just can’t do it. You give these current Hollywood folks a cracking premise, but without an old movie to copy or a comic to base things from, they’re utterly lost. There’s no creative spark in any of them. Characters? Original set-pieces? Novel twists with sustainable logic? Nah. They just can’t do it.