65 Review – Dawn of the dinosaurs

Adam Driver takes on a planet filled with Dinosaurs in this big budget spectacle that takes a while to get going. When it does though, it’s a father figure helping a daughter figure travel across a hostile land kind of story. This time around there is a language barrier between the two and a whole bunch of killer creatures. This is the definition of a slow burn that takes a little too long to get going, but when it does, it has more dinosaur action than the recent Jurassic World Dominion. This is told through a number of brilliant jump scares and a family drama that doesn’t often intertwine well, but is entertaining enough to keep you watching for the moderate 90-minute run time.

Mills (Adam Driver) is a pilot transporting passengers in cryo between planets, when his ship tears through an asteroid field and crash lands on Earth, all the passengers in cryo perish except for one – Koa (Ariana Greenblatt) a small child from a native tribe on a faraway planet who doesn’t speak or understand English. Mills can locate the escape pod at the top of a mountain about a 15-kilometre trek from where they are. In between them and their destination, there is no end of dinosaurs and prehistoric bugs and critters that want to kill them before they get there.

The dinosaurs are beautifully designed and blend into the world naturally. It’s not all dinosaurs though, the killer bugs and komodo dragon-like creatures flesh out the world and stop the film from being overloaded with dinosaur action.  Most of the budget clearly went to the creature effects as the asteroid effects look out of place compared to the rest of the film.

Driver does the best with what he’s given, the often at times bland dialogue offers no depth to his character Mills. His interaction with Greenblatt is great despite the language barrier. Perhaps if they had leaned into the ridiculousness of this scenario it may have fared better, there are several attempts at comedic moments but they do all fall flat. It’s not all bad, there are some great jump scares involving a T-Rex and Directors Scott Beck & Bryan Woods pull off some memorable camera work here, one particular in a dark cave when Mills is fighting a dinosaur and we witness the fight through his scanning device. If the film offered more of this it would have been much better.

65 had all the promise of a fantastic action film, the Super Bowl trailer had it parked as one of the biggest films of 2023. Regrettably, it may not hit that high as it feels reminiscent of a 90’s action film that may find an audience on streaming services or digital release further down the track. If you are looking for some great dinosaur action with a middling story, then this is a movie you will enjoy. It is a shame that the first half of the movie is incredibly slow and by the time the movie is wrapping up, the great dinosaur action may leave some wanting more.

65 is in cinemas now thanks to Sony Pictures.

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