Are we really alone in this universe? Not likely, many believe. A lot of them also believe that other inhabitants of this universe may be ahead of us on the evolution ladder. Some are certain these inhabitants look extremely different from anything we have seen on Earth, as portrayed in movies like ET to Alien. And some think that these could look very much like us humans, with varying levels of power. It is quite evident that Scott Beck and Bryan Woods draw their inspiration for 65 from these ideas. But it is a rather lazy inspiration!
So, what is 65? It’s a story set 65 million years ago. No, you aren’t a genius if the number rings a bell. That’s around the time when planet Earth saw one of its most catastrophic events, said to have wiped out much of its inhabitants.
It is around this time that Mills, a spacecraft pilot, crash lands on Earth while transporting people back to his planet, Somaris, after being hit by asteroids. He loses all passengers except one in the crash. And now it is for him and the surviving passenger, a young girl named Koa, to make it through dangerous terrain to the top of a hill where an escape shuttle has landed. No points for guessing, the terrain is dangerous because it’s infested with dinosaurs. It is a race against all odds, time, and life threats. To make things worse for Mills, Koa does not speak his language. Hence there is minimal dialogue.
The truth is the premise of the idea, though basic is interesting. It is the convenient screenplay where this one falls. To provide some meat to the story, we are given a backstory to Mill – he takes up this 2-year-long piloting assignment to earn enough for his ailing daughter’s treatment. The father in him is supposed to be the force that makes him take of Koa, who is of the same age as his daughter as seen in his memories. But the writers completely forget another survivor that Mills finds and takes back to the wreckage. No capable of walking, hence good enough to be forgotten eh! At some level, it feels like the makers are more eager than their character to reach the end – rushing through scenes, without creating any sort of interest. On the good side, it’s merely 93 minutes long. It’s over before you really feel the pinch.
Things get especially dodgy towards the climax as the makers resort to the formulaic. And Adam Driver as Mills and Ariana Greenblatt as Koa seems uninspired for most parts.
Best known for writing A Quiet Place, which did manage to get some chills down our spine, Scott and Bryan would do well to move past this one pronto. My favourite scene, one that made me chuckle, is when Koa does a stick-figure drawing of her family in a cave. Cheeky, that one, if you understand what that was intended for.
65 is available on Netflix.