“65” brings back fun mid-budget sci-fi


“65” is a science fiction dinosaur film from the writers of “A Quiet Place.”(Courtesy of Bron Creative)

Ian Lloyd, Staff Writer

With a title card sequence directly inspired by “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Alien,” “65” draws the audience in with its extremely simple concept: a visitor from another planet lands on Earth 65 million years ago. The film comes from Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, writers of “A Quiet Place” and directors of “Haunt.”

Mills (Adam Driver) is a spaceship pilot from the planet Somaris who takes a two-year-long job to earn enough money to pay for his daughter’s medical treatment. During the trip, he crash lands on Earth during the Cretaceous period and loses nearly every other person on board, except a young girl named Koa (Ariana Greenblatt). Together, these two survivors must travel across the surface to find a functioning escape pod while avoiding the prehistoric beasts that populate the planet.

This film doesn’t excel as a sci-fi film. It doesn’t even excel as a dinosaur film, a horror film or an Adam Driver film. If you go into this movie with the idea that it will be a magnificent display of cinema, then you will be more than disappointed. “65” is exactly what it presents itself as: an enjoyable 93-minute adventure film about dinosaurs and laser guns.

Mills (Adam Driver) is a pilot from a different galaxy who finds himself stranded on Earth 65 million years ago. (Courtesy of Bron Creative)

Driver and Greenblatt are both phenomenal actors and have proven themselves as some of the best that are working today. Driver has crafted consistently interesting performances, and Greenblatt is already a promising young actress at the age of 15. Their performances might, in fact, be the weakest of their careers in “65,” but they are still the most engaging aspect of this film. There are some legitimately heartwarming scenes between this duo. If it wasn’t for these two, this film would have been a boring slog to get through.

I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess that I’m in the minority for liking this movie. A lot of the set pieces are never that exciting, and the overall story doesn’t feel like it amounts to much. If you saw this film and didn’t care for it, I would completely understand. I just find an odd sense of nostalgia in it.

I used to watch the cable channel TNT a lot with my dad growing up. I think it was because we would channel surf until he saw a movie he watched when he was younger, and more often than not, it would be on TNT. Films like “Escape from New York,” “Pandorum” and “The Matrix” trilogy enticed me and stuck in my memory even though I couldn’t comprehend their stories. It’s that specific type of science fiction that’s a bit grimy and tries to act like it has an edge. The plots are usually simple, so they focus on the character’s desperation more than the story beats.

Mills (Adam Driver) and Koa (Ariana Greenblatt) must work together to survive on Earth during the age of dinosaurs. (Courtesy of Bron Creative)

“65” is essentially the type of movie you would find in a huge stack of DVDs at your uncle’s house. This film is not gonna blow your mind, but I find simple beauty in this genuine effort to make a mid-budget science fiction B-movie in 2023. Most of what we get now has to be made with an overblown budget and include pre-existing characters, so having a simple film that you won’t have to give much thought to afterward is kind of refreshing.

If you want an easy breezy 90-minute film that feels like it’s from a long-gone era of studio schlock, look no further because “65” will give you a perfectly adequate time at the movies.