Live-action movies about dinosaurs usually bring to mind the Jurassic Park franchise. We are six movies in and I’m sure it will be rebooted again, but it’s a shame that dinosaurs haven’t been utilized more in cinema. I’m going to assume it’s due to budgetary concerns, but the right people can get a scary movie out of it somehow. The marketing for 65 seemed to be aiming for that and it helps that the writing team behind A Quiet Place is involved. However, 65 manages to turn an intriguing premise into just an okay movie.
Adam Driver stars as Mills, a pilot whose ship crashed due to being hit by asteroids. The only other survivor is young Koa, but their means of survival are pushed to the test as Koa does not speak English. After sending out a distress call, they discover the planet is inhabited by dinosaurs. This is where the gimmick starts and should have worked.
65 has title cards on display explaining to the audience that Mills was on Earth when the dinosaurs roamed, but this is considered present-day for him. He is not a man of the future, therefore, doesn’t know anything about the existence of dinosaurs or that he’s about to learn what killed them. We know more about what’s going on than our lead, which makes it a bit frustrating, especially in the third act when he lacks a sense of urgency during a pivotal sequence.
Aside from the title cards, 65 believes its audience is too dumb to piece together themes and character motivation so it splices several flashbacks of Mills’ sick daughter. In case you weren’t sure why someone wouldn’t want to keep a child from being killed, the movie will make sure there’s no thinking involved as everything is spelled out for you narratively.
Luckily, the technical aspects of the 4K release make 65 a fun experience. Select the Dolby Atmos track, turn the volume up, and you will be engrossed in an environment filled with dinosaurs roaring from all speakers. Action sequences will push your subwoofer to the test, while not overwhelming any of the dialogue. The Dolby Vision shines when it wants to, but 65 is so dark (probably to hide limitations in dinosaur details) that it feels a shame. However, the third act truly takes advantage and shows off vibrant colors and a gorgeous sequence involving a falling asteroid.
There are multiple special features, but all are rather short, less than five minutes apiece. Each focuses on different aspects of the production. However, the cast is noticeably absent from interviews. Writers/directors Scott Beck and Bryan Woods get really excited to discuss the project and what they hoped to achieve. However, the finished product feels like corporate tampered around as it has none of the passion they exemplify in their interviews.
65 is a decent watch for the night, but it’s unlikely to scare or inspire fans as originally intended. Luckily, a good sound system can elevate the experience with its killer Dolby Atmos track.
65 is now available on Digital and on 4K UHD, Blu-ray & DVD.