65 – Review

Cert – 12, Run-time – 1 hour 33 minutes, Directors – Scott Beck, Bryan Woods

The survivors of a spaceship crash (Adam Driver, Ariana Greenblatt) must make their way through prehistoric Earth to an escape pod before an asteroid collision.

There’s no denying that the trailers for 65 have largely pushed the dinosaur element of things. It’s also understandable, they’re dinosaurs after all. However, the prehistoric creatures aren’t as prevalent throughout the film as you might think. In fact, the focus is largely on the journey and relationship between the two survivors of a spaceship crash. Pilot Mills (Adam Driver) and child Koa (Ariana Greenblatt). For much of the short 93 minute run-time we see the pair making their way across the uncertain terrain as they try to make their way to an escape shuttle 12 kilometres away, before an imminent asteroid collides with the planet.

Writer-directors Scott Beck and Bryan Woods understand the effect of holding back the threatening creatures within the narrative. Building up tension through what we don’t see yet know is there, and creating an impact when properly present by acknowledging the simple fact that they are (often) big and (always) scary. There is a fear factor to them, adding to the suspense of the action sequences which crop up every now and then providing another layer of entertainment to the piece as a whole.

While some of the emotional elements for the leading pair might not have the effect hoped for – particularly when largely appearing in the third act – and the ticking clock element of the nearing asteroids feels contrived there’s still plenty to enjoy within the film. This largely comes down to the fact that the narrative elements which make up the film as a whole are kept relatively simplistic. There are no convoluted tangents or subplots and largely things are kept to the journey for the two central characters – both of whom are rather well performed, particularly Driver who helps to bring some more investment and believability to the rather fantastical basis.

Thanks to this it’s easy to generally sit back and have a good time with 65. It’s nothing overly complicated and what it does it does rather well, making for an entertaining sci-fi actioner which knows how to move alongside its two leads rather than making everything around them the core of the film. Again, the film may not be anything complicated but in a way that adds to the enjoyment there is to be found within it. It may have some bumps along the way, largely in the third act when trying to deal with more emotional elements for both characters before the big finale, but there’s still an entertaining, occasionally suspenseful, and efficient piece of work here. A good time at the cinema.

65 may not be anything overly complex, but it uses that to its strengths, creating an entertaining and efficient sci-fi actioner. More directly dramatic beats might not always have their effect, but the occasional tension certainly does.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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