65 Review | A Generic Survival Thriller That Failed to Utilize Its Unique Premise

The movie 65, written by Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, has a premise that looks pretty interesting as it has a connection with the extinction of dinosaurs from the earth’s surface. But the duo who wrote thrillers like A Quiet Place isn’t able to pull the movie out of the usual notions of a survival thriller. And the personal layer that always drives these survival dramas is not that solid in the case of this Adam Driver starrer.

The story was set 65 million years ago, and there are many advanced galaxies from which they conducted ambitious expeditions to understand more about the galactic world. One such expedition faced an unprecedented meteor shower, and the space ship crash landed on earth with just two survivors, pilot Mills and a kid named Koa. With all those dinosaurs out there, how Mills and the kid managed to survive is what we see in 65.

In the latter half of the film, you somewhere get a feeling that Beck and Woods are trying to push the movie into the zone of something like A Quiet Place, as the tension in the atmosphere is pretty high. But the challenge in front of our protagonists is dinosaurs. And frankly, we have had too much Jurassic Park exposure to feel any sense of intimidation picturizing them as demons. Maybe they knew the void in the antagonist part and used the backstory of Mills’ dead daughter to create some emotional motivation. But the beats of that drama are highly familiar, and you kind of anticipate that track to happen the moment they introduced the character of Koa.

Adam Driver is believable as the panting, vigilant, and vulnerable Mills. The demand here is more physical as his character rarely gets a break to get a breath. Ariana Greenblatt played the role of Koa and was fine in that particular character.

There is a bit of cluelessness in the movie’s writing on how to develop this story that happens in a matter of hours. There is a phase in the film where Koa is putting a flower on Mills’ hair, and she is throwing poisonous fruits at him. The humorous tone shift never really looked convincing. It was more like a deliberate attempt to make the movie feel much lighter. Even the hurdles they throw in the way of these characters don’t feel irreplaceable. The cinematography by Salvatore Totino doesn’t go for a spectacle-like treatment. I loved a scene where they smartly diverted a fight between Mills and a dinosaur into a miniature space using one of the cool gadgets Mills had; innovative and effective. The visual effects standards aren’t that consistent.

If watching a thriller with many jump scares and a pretty familiar survival story structure is enough for you, then this 93 minutes long film might well feel like a passable one. But the usualness and predictability are too much. And looking at the significance of the period in which the movie is happening, 65 feels more like a lazy effort on the writing table.

Final Thoughts

Looking at the significance of the period in which the movie is happening, 65 feels more like a lazy effort on the writing table.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.