Written and directed by Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, an astronaut crash lands on a mysterious planet only to discover he’s not alone. Starring: Adam Driver, Ariana Greenblatt, Chloe Coleman and Nika King.
Considering that 65 comes to you from the writers of A Quiet Place and stars audience favourite Adam Driver, it’s surprising that its initial release went so under the radar. So the real question is, were you missing out? And the quick answer is, yes. Getting a focused, action flick that isn’t overstuffed and has genuine emotion is not a common occurrence but is what you get with 65. Granted, the story could have added a few more twists and turns to hold your attention better in its second half but that doesn’t stop it from being enjoyable.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of it is the relationship between Mills (Adam Driver) and Koa (Ariana Greenblatt). It’s a pleasant surprise just how genuine and sweet it is, so much so that when the film strays away from them into the dino-raving environment, it isn’t as good. Looking at it in the big picture Driver isn’t giving audiences anything they haven’t seen before from him, but he’s such an engaging and charismatic presence that it still feels new. Greenblatt does a fantastic job and that’s even before you add in the difficulty of her character being unable to speak English. She has an endearing energy, providing both a strength and triggering your protective instincts. It’s a two for one on young talented actresses in 65, casting Chloe Coleman and while her role might be much smaller and seen through flashbacks, she makes a strong impression. She gets a few brief moments to instil a lot of emotion and does it well.
One of the biggest concerns with a sci-fi, action, adventure film that involves dinosaurs is always going to be the effects, with them often falling short, but thankfully here they don’t. The visuals are strong, the creatures are plenty present but don’t entirely take over, and the quality of the effects is nicely consistent. The environment is convincing and adds plenty to the atmosphere, leaving the option for danger at every corner. Beck and Woods’ directorial style does a great job of capturing that risk, it moves with a great energy. While the story itself may waver in the end, the direction is solid throughout.
65 is a perfect flick for some evening’s entertainment, with plenty of action and charming performances from Adam Driver and Ariana Greenblatt. The story is good but on the simple side, meaning that it struggles to keep things going in the latter half. It has strong visuals and a good atmosphere, and while it might not make it into the top tier of sci-fi, it’s still plenty worth watching.