It may have been teased as a sci-fi reminiscent of classics like “Alien” and “Jurassic Park,” but Sony Pictures’ “65″ instead burned up in the atmosphere and fell dramatically short of either.
The opening of the film sets the stage millions of years ago, with a man named “Mills” (Adam Driver) sitting on the beach with his wife (Nika King) as their daughter Nevine (Chloe Coleman) plays in the ocean — a human species presumably living in another galaxy.
Nevine is sick, so Mills, a space pilot, signs up for a two-year transport mission as a means of paying for her treatment.
Within minutes, “65″ jettisons Mills into space, where his ship hits a cluster of asteroids before crash landing onto the surface of an unknown celestial body, killing hundreds of the ship’s passengers in the process.
It’s a fitting start, as the movie ultimately does that same.
(Warning: Spoilers ahead)
Outside of his ship is where we learn that Mills has landed on a dinosaur-rich Earth 65 million years before our present day.
He believes he’s alone, save for the reptilian monsters, until a 9-year old passenger aboard the ship named Koa (Ariana Greenblatt) sets off Mills’ “search for life and rescue radar” machine. He drags her out of her cryosleep pod, only to learn she doesn’t speak English. (Frankly, it’s unclear why or how Mills does.)
Common language or no, the duo must make it to the only remaining escape pod without being eaten by scaly critters.
A Pedro Pascal’ian story (see: “The Last of Us,” “The Mandalorian”), wherein a reluctant and flawed father figure must guide an orphaned child to safety, ensues. Koa and Mills’ inability to communicate with words was an odd plot point to employ, seeing as much of the film remains silent save for the sounds of insects, dinosaurs and screaming.
Still, it’s not the prehistoric creatures that pose the greatest threat. It’s time.
Mills and Koa just so happen to have crashed landed on Earth the very same day the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs has entered the atmosphere. Talk about bad luck.
And while some pretty gory dinosaur scenes do occur, the most destructive baddie in the movie is, alas, a giant flaming rock.
Along the way, Koa and Mills bond over whistling — wonderful. They eventually manage to escape in the nick of time, holding hands as they sail off peacefully into space.
Throughout, America’s favorite Marine-turned-thespian, Driver, and Greenblatt out-act the source material, ultimately delivering performances that were vastly more superior than the movie itself.
There are rumored to be sequel and prequel ideas, but as it stands, “65″ should go the way of the dinosaurs.
Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.