Ever since my disappointment with Jurassic World: Dominion, I have been itching for a new dinosaur movie that could challenge Universal's beast of a franchise. Sony/Columbia Pictures put on the boxing gloves and decided to take on the challenge with 65. Based on early reviews, there were mixed reviews towards the movie. Are the criticisms correct or is there more to 65 than meets the eye? After watching the movie, I will say that it is not bad by any means, but this is not the next big dinosaur movie franchise you are looking for.
After colliding with an asteroid belt during a transportation of colonists, pilot Mills and one other survivor, a little girl whose name is Koa, find they have crashed on a habitable, yet, hostile planet. The story is very simple and streamlined. You know what to expect to happen and it is very predictable. The humans in this movie are not from Earth. They are actually the aliens that just happen to find themselves on Earth 65 million years in the past just as the movie had been advertised since the movie's first trailer. There is no sense of mystery to be found about these other worldly humans. No defining features other than Koa's foreign language that is not English that makes them stand out from the humans that would evolve on Earth.
Adam Driver's acting was so weak that he doesn't seem to put much effort into his role. He was very monotone for most of the movie and it made me feel bored of watching the movie. If more effort was put into his acting I would probably be a little more engaged. I know it is only him and Koa for most of the movie, but even then he doesn't have to sound one tone for most of the movie. On the other hand, Mills is traversing this hostile "alien" planet with a little girl and trying to be cautious of his surroundings. Even when he is being playful with Koa he is still being cautious and consider anything a hazard or dangerous. Any other emotional moment Mills has is sort of pushed out of the way for more dinosaur action sequences. Although I get to learn about Mills through recordings of his daughter, the movie doesn't allow time to connect with the character.
Ariana Greenblatt plays a little girl named Koa. While her performance is about average, I will say she gives her character more personality than Adam Driver as Mills. When she first meets Mills, she is shy and terrified and had to learn to trust Mills in his care to help her find her family. She also sees Mills as mysterious not knowing much about him and tries to learn about him through video recordings of his daughter. Koa is depicted as someone who is from a northern land speaking in a different tongue from English, which Mills speaks. She learns from watching recordings and listening to Mills which she picks up words here and there that would allow for both her and Mills to communicate.
One of the main criticisms I hear is that there is not all that much dinosaurs nor dinosaur action. After watching the movie, I find there is plenty of dinosaur action to be had. The movie is just more focused on the story of the humans and their drive to survive on this prehistoric planet. I am not all about accuracy in terms of how the dinosaurs are designed, but I will say they are bland and, at times, vague enough to be more recognized as lizards more than dinosaurs. There is even one big bad dinosaur that appears at the end of the movie, but it is not a T-Rex. Again, it is one of those dinosaurs that is too vague to even tell what it is suppose to be. It is just an even larger lizard. It appears out of nowhere without any build up to it nor give any hint that this thing was following the characters through out the movie. The dinosaurs fit more in line with giant monsters than they do with actual dinosaurs since a few of them are hardly recognizable. Even the T-Rex is basically a reused design of the T-Rex in Peter Jackson's King Kong. When the action happens, you could hardly see the action happening because the camera is always zoomed in on Adam Driver's face aiming his gun. When you do see the dinosaurs the CGI just looks cheap like video game graphics.
Despite my negatives, I still had fun watching this movie. There were moments that I did like such as when Mills would play along with Koa and try to teach her what she should and shouldn't do. I especially liked the moments where he is watching recordings of his daughter and we see sadness because he is so far away from home from his family much like how Koa is far from her family. There is some connection happening with these characters, but they always fall short because of Adam's acting being so monotone for most of the movie. What is also interesting is in every action sequence with Adam Driver he is utilizing his military skills from when he was in the Marines. It is a shame those action sequences are always up close and in odd angles where we can't actually see the action taking place.
While 65 has its moments, the movie is not the next big dinosaur movie that will rival the Jurassic Park series. The acting is bland and the CGI dinosaurs looks like cheap, giant lizards. I don't mind the movie focusing more on the human characters than the dinosaurs, but the story needs to be interesting enough to hold my attention. It had a good concept, but poor execution. You are better off waiting until this movie is on TV or on a streaming service as it is not worth watching in theaters.
What are your thoughts on 65? Do you feel the same or do you think the movie is better than you expected? Let me know in the comments section of your thoughts on this movie. Make sure to follow me on Facebook, Minds, MeWe, Gab, and TRUTH Social to stay up to date for more news, reviews, and discussions.