65 is a 2023 American science fiction action thriller film written and directed by Scott Beck and Bryan Woods and starring Adam Driver and Ariana Greenblatt. The story summary we found online goes as follows – “After a catastrophic crash on an unknown planet, pilot Mills quickly discovers he’s actually stranded on Earth.65 million years ago. Now, with only one chance at rescue, Mills and the only other survivor, Koa, must make their way across an unknown terrain riddled with dangerous prehistoric creatures in an epic fight to survive.” (IMDb)
S P O I L E R S
Now, that summary is deceptive, to say the least. The only context the 65 title possesses is in relation to us as inhabitants of earth. But for Mills, the main character, Earth is simply an unknown planet that his ship has crash-landed on. And that is only the first problem we have with this movie. The rest of the film has a functionary narrative and flawed characterisation. It all starts with Mills.
The opening sequences on Mills’ home planet (not Earth) establishes his close relationship with his daughter as he undertakes a two-year mission to pilot a research ship in outer space. Reminiscent of Interstellar but only superficially. When the ship crashes, with virtually no survivors, Mills is ready to die on the unknown planet, for reasons to be revealed later – his daughter suddenly died while he was away – so Mills’ wife is not sufficient reason to be rescued? Hmm.
Then, Mills discovers that one girl – Koa – has survived and Mills now has a goal i.e. to bring Koa to the escape craft that was separated from the main ship, whereby the both of them could leave Earth and be rescued. Along the way, of course, the duo face a host of obstacles. From deadly prehistoric creatures to quicksand, not to mention the massive asteroid on a collision course with Earth – they cannot seem to get a break. But this is all necessary in order to build up the tension in the story.
In the final act of 65, Mills and Koa reach their destination but they are attacked by a T.Rex. Mills leads the dinosaur away from Koa and the escape craft, hoping that she would leave him behind. Does Mills even want to return to his wife? Well, of course, the tables are turned and it is Koa who rescues Mills from the T.Rex, and they both leave Earth on the escape craft. The manner in which the T.Rex is dispatched is down to hot geysers that Mills encountered earlier – a common trope.
65 is a by-the-numbers scifi movie that has no compelling reason to exist. Will it recoup its $50 million cost?
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