Movie Review: 65
The bland title "65" is because someone already used the title "65 Million Years Ago." It's sci-fi so I had to see it. I didn't care for the previews. Watching them, I actually thought they were doing some kind of time travel anomaly: Humans get sent back in time by ____ to the time of dinosaurs. The truth is far dumber. This movie is about another race exploring the Earth mere hours before the dinosaur-killing asteroid hits it.
Yeah, that's right. There's an alien race of completely human people that decide to explore the Earth or something near it. They open the movie with a lot of subtitles to explain the setup. Of course, once I saw that, I thought they were going for some Earth-seeded-by-aliens angle. The problem with that is that the fossil record shows hominids evolving over perhaps five million years yielding something like the modern human about 200,000 years ago. So that plot would fly in the face of current science. Having seen the movie, I can say that even that stupidity would be better than what they delivered.
I intend to spoil this movie for you, so stop reading now if that will annoy you. I do it without misgivings because there's precious little to spoil about this movie.
The actual plot is more boring and many times as stupid as whatever you thought it might be. A man goes on a two-year mission to explore something--we're never told what. He's ferrying a bunch of people in cryo pods. Ostensibly that's a year out and a year back. So, somewhere within a year's travel of Earth is their amazingly advanced planet filled with perfectly human inhabitants. How does that travel occur? Well, on screen, it looks like three engines spitting blue flame do the job. Oh, and when they crash, they can send messages home in mere hours. How? Who knows. At the very end, their little escape pod will apparently be able to meet up with a rescue ship.
Why am I being a hard-science-fiction dick about all that? Mostly because it destroys the tension of the plot. If you can have real-time communications with home and can arrange a rescue rendez-vous in near real-time, what's the tension? They aren't so badly stranded. This isn't Gilligan's Island, just a breakdown on the side of the road with AAA on the way.
But wait, don't harp on gritty little plot holes, let's focus on the emotional heart of the piece. Adam Driver's character has a daughter that dies while he's away. The one survivor from the cryo pods just happens to be a little girl about his daughter's age. She even shares her long dark hair.
Ostensibly the pilot's broken parent-heart is supposed to inject some pathos into this movie. It really doesn't.
What you really get is a dinosaur movie. It's a guy and a child running through the wilderness fighting off dinosaur attacks. Think the fat guy in Jurassic Park getting hunted when his Jeep breaks down. What was appropriately a little side interlude in that movie was the entire plot of 65.
I'm leaving out a lot of the plot holes, but I want to share my favorite one. At the end, their escape ship is upside down. It can't launch. Instead of the A-Team montage of let's upfit the van, er, fix the ship, we have a dinosaur attack and magically flip the ship over into launch position without breaking its FTL drive and sensitive systems. It was at least a good laugh. You'd have a harder time jump-starting a car than they had getting back into space with their vehicle that had survived a crash and rough handling by a dinosaur.
My point is that there isn't much of a plot, setup, or characters here. Adam Driver is boring to watch. The setup is laughably stupid. The timing of crashing on Earth mere hours before that famous extinction event is absurd. Driver's character having a handheld thingy that could identify and time the asteroid from him pointing it at the sky was even more asinine.
This movie is so empty that they frontloaded fifteen minutes of Adam Driver's character and his family just to get this thing to come up to ninety minutes.
For me, the most interesting thing about this movie is wondering how it got made. People sat around a table with this script, nodded their heads, and decided it was worth spending forty-five million dollars to make it. Even more confusing is why you would put Adam Driver at the head of this two-person cast.
There's got to be something good in it, right? Some little chunk 'o goodness? There is. If you love dinosaurs, there are a couple of excellent dinosaur scares.
Intoxicants might make this an enjoyable movie to watch, either by making you too torpid to notice the problems or by kicking it into the so-bad-its-good zone.
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