65 (2023) by Mark R. Leeper : a film review.

’65’ seems to have experienced some major concept changes during production or the right hand and left hand simply weren’t communicating. THIS IS NOT A SPOILER:  what I’m about to share is revealed to the audience on screen in the first few minutes. If you’re not attentive, you might miss it.

The production notes state, ‘After a cataclysmic crash on an unknown planet, pilot Mills (Adam Driver) quickly discovers he’s actually stranded on Earth—65 million years ago.‘ However, seventeen minutes into the film, the title card reads, ‘65 million years ago a visitor crash landed on Earth.’ So which version is accurate?

Given the evidence, it seems clear the title card is the correct version. Mills never ‘discovers’ he is on Earth since he knows nothing about it. He’s an alien from another planet traveling to yet another alien planet and he unexpectedly lands on Earth. For the film’s ending to be coherent, the title card’s narrative has to be accurate.

The plot follows Mills and a young survivor attempting to reach the escape pod, which has inconveniently landed on top of a nearby hill, separate from the main ship. Their journey provides ample opportunity for confrontations with dinosaurs from the Cretaceous period, which appears to be the primary focus of the film. Additionally, there’s a sub-plot about the pair bonding over shared experiences of family loss.

Without giving too much away, though this might be considered a spoiler, they find themselves on Earth just a few days before a significant event.

A majority of the dinosaur action occurs either at night or in dark caves. In many ways, it reminds me of a 2020’s take on a B-grade 1950s monster movie, entertaining enough for a casual afternoon viewing. One can’t help but wonder why Adam Driver, a two-time Oscar nominee, chose this particular role. It’s worth noting that this was the first film where Driver, an ex-Marine, utilised his weapons and combat training.

Released theatrically 10th March 2023.

Rating: 0 (-4 to +4), or 4/10.

Mark R. Leeper

(c) 2023 – Mark R. Leeper

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