65: Is Driver Vs Dinos as Fun as it Sounds?


Adam Driver is a serious actor, who now works almost exclusively with big-name filmmakers, ranging from Martin Scorsese to Terry Gilliam. He’s even got Michael Mann and Francis Ford Coppola projects in the pipeline. 

It’s curious, then, that such a darling of auteur cinema would sign up to headline 65, a B-Movie with killer dinosaurs. Directors Scott Beck and Bryan Woods might not be familiar names, but they do share a writing credit on the startlingly efficient nail-biter A Quiet Place. However, that film’s fresh originality is missing here. Instead, they serve up a fairly by-the-numbers survival thriller.

It’s a testament, then, to Adam Driver’s star quality that it works as well as it does. He plays Mills, a humanoid alien from the planet Somaris, whose spaceship crash lands on Earth, 65 million years in the past. The only other survivor of the crash is Koa, a young girl who does not speak the same language as Mills. Despite this barrier, the two must work together to navigate the hostile environment to reach an escape shuttle that landed on a nearby mountain.

The film is far leaner than the flabby Jurassic World movies, with an unfussy plot moving us from one nasty critter to the next.  However, its comparatively lower budget is evident in the video-gamey dinosaur effects.

We’ve come a long way since the original Jurassic Park brought the Cretaceous to life in 1993, and it takes a lot for CG dinos to convince these days. Perhaps Beck and Woods should have taken a leaf out of Spielberg’s Jaws instead: less would have undeniably been more.  

While the monsters are never quite believable, Adam Driver very much is. He gives a rather bland hero character some real vulnerability, while his interactions with Ariana Greenblatt’s Koa lend the film some genuine heart.

Despite a breezy 93-minute runtime, the action-laden third act does get tiring, layering on a frankly unnecessary apocalyptic finale. The ‘race-against-time’ turn only makes it feel more like a Playstation game. 

Still, it’s refreshing to see an original blockbuster on the big screen, squashed between those IP tentpoles. Kudos to the filmmakers for centering it around a proper actor. Now, enough mucking about with dinos, Driver… Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis beckons.

A passably entertaining survival flick, with occasional frights and some wonderfully icky bugs. The dinosaurs are a bit dodgy,  but Driver proves he’s always worth watching.


65 is now showing at the Eden Cinemas