An astronaut crash lands on a mysterious planet only to discover he’s not alone.

Chuck says:

Adam Driver is one of our most intriguing, intelligent actors. He’s worked with many A-List directors, including Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee and Stephen Soderbergh, he’s made consistently intelligent choices, starring in films as diverse as “Paterson,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “The Last Duel” and “White Noise.” Of his peers, he has probably more prestige movies to his credit and has built a reputation of being a performer who can be relied upon to be involved in quality motion pictures.  Knowing this, I couldn’t help but wonder how in the world he ended up in the abysmal new sci-fi thriller “65.”

I’m assuming he lost a bet.

Every actor has outliers on their resume, those projects that might have looked good on paper but ended up stinking up the screen.  And then there are those that are outright stinkers that are so bad, that instead of being invested in the film, you keep asking yourself while you view it, “How in the world did this get made?’’ I pondered that as I watched Driver as Mills, a human who happens to crash land on Earth 65 million years ago, long before there were any human beings on the planet.  Seems his ship, a transport in which he was ferrying passengers to a far away planet, was hit by an asteroid and has to make an emergency stop on the third rock from the sun.  All on board are dead, except Koa (Ariana Greenblatt), a young teen who reminds Mills of his recently deceased daughter.  The pair don’t let a language barrier get in the way of their having to trek some 15 miles and up the side of a mountain where a rescue pod is precariously perched.

It’s far from an eventless trek, as these two are besieged by all kinds of dinosaurs, some no bigger than dogs, some on the wing, some of the T-Rex variety.  It’s a good thing Mills has a futuristic pulse, ray gun thingie he can dispatch these creatures with.  A talking compass, that guides them to their destination as well as pick up any threats comes in handy too, especially after a cave-in separates them.  Driver and Greenblatt should be commended for not phoning in their performances, the two committed from beginning to end in selling this soap.  Their struggle towards making this plausible is entertaining in itself.

There are some many incongruities at play here, I don’t know where to begin.  I love how the characters happen to speak English and have the same names for objects that we have…yet, they supposedly have no relation to the species (us) that would later inhabit the planet. To be sure, there is a neat little third act twist and the special effects are well-done, as every cent of the film’s $90 million budget is on screen. However, of that outlay, much more should have gone towards script development. As it is, “65” plays out like a film scripted by a committee of 13 year-old boys, none of whom are above cribbing the best parts from better movies.

2 Stars

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