Spoiler alert: this review has spoilers throughout!
65 is rated PG-13 and stars Adam Driver (House of Gucci) and Ariana Greenblatt (Avengers: Infinity War). It is a sci-fi movie that posits aliens crash landed on Earth a long time ago. How long ago, you ask? 65 million years ago to be exact. Actually, we can be even more exact: it appears they crash land precisely as the famous dinosaur-killing asteroid is about to strike Earth. Don’t look up?
And these aliens probably look pretty alien, right? Maybe tentacles or giant eyes and small gray bodies… Actually they are just humans. But alien humans, I guess. Before I get into my criticisms, I thought the actors both did a great job of acting. And the movie mostly kept my attention, although I wouldn’t say I was engrossed. Those are the only good things I have to say, but I’ll try to be positive…
The aliens have a beautiful beach
The movie opens on an alien world’s beach where handsome Adam Driver is an alien human husband who has a beautiful alien human wife and young alien human daughter. It is revealed almost immediately that his daughter has some kind of illness and if he takes a job where he captains a spaceship on a two year voyage then he will earn enough money to pay for his daughter’s treatment. Glad to see an advanced space faring alien civilization struggles with healthcare too.
Anyway, he does this and ends up transporting six people and some stuff from one planet back to the planet he originated on. I think. I honestly don’t recall if it was ever explained what the cargo was. I suppose it’s not important for the story, but it did leave me wondering about the larger world they lived in. Later in the film we learn that his daughter died while he was on the voyage and Adam Driver’s character knows this because he received video messages from his family.
The aliens have impeccable timing
You might even think maybe they planned it. I mean, of course not, the trailer makes that clear. But it’d kind of make sense that an advanced space faring civilization of aliens might want to scientifically observe dinosaurs and also study an enormous meteorite impact. Nope! The aliens were just on their way somewhere else for some reason. Some debris from the incoming asteroid collides with their ship and causes them to crash land on what the audience knows to be Earth. After the crash, the two survivors must reach the escape craft (which landed 15 km away) before the meteor annihilates the planet. The meteor is going to impact on their exact location. By the end of the movie they literally have mere seconds to avoid the enormous dinosaur-killing meteor. Oops!
The aliens have fortuitous biology
You might think the aliens would need to wear spacesuits and protect themselves from foreign pathogens and an alien atmosphere. I mean, of course not, the trailer makes that clear as well. But, it’d make sense that maybe their biology would be significantly different, the viruses and bacteria they evolved with are different, even if they are humanoid in form.
Nope! Turns out these aliens are, as far as we can tell, actually humans whose bodies react as though they are used to the environment on Earth. No explanation is given as to why and how they would share DNA with life on Earth. Did they seed life on Earth four billion years ago and somehow their planet was so similar to Earth that actual literal humans evolved separately on both planets? The movie doesn’t mention it or care at all about that one. In fact, I’m pretty sure they say Earth is uncharted and uninhabited.
The dinosaurs have an amazing sense of dramatic timing
You might think that dinosaurs living in the wild would be… well, wild and that the carnivorous ones would immediately devour a hapless and much smaller human. Nope! Thankfully, these carnivorous dinos are thoughtful creatures who recognize our lead aliens as unique, otherworldly prey requiring some aloof study prior to killing and eating them. This gives our heroes ample time to fight back or run away (even out-running the dinosaurs at times!)
Most of the dinosaurs they encounter are carnivorous ones and come in packs of two or three. Except for one time when they encountered a pack of like 20 or 30 hungry dinos and Adam Driver’s character mowed them down with an advanced alien shotgun. That’s always fun. I think they only encounter one small pack of what appear to be young herbivores. Naturally, Ariana’s character saves one of the herbivores from a tar pit, for which it is very appreciative and never tries to fight them, just like a real, large herbivore would do when it’s struggling for its life and meets an alien.
The sulfuric acid geysers also have an amazing sense of timing
And the giant, carnivorous dinosaur that chases our leads has no idea what it’s in for, standing over the geyser dramatically before it eats them! I was legit waiting for the villain’s final monologue. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that this movie is for children. Children who want to see dinosaurs get murdered. By aliens who are humans from another planet.
Obviously, I didn’t particularly care for this movie. However, there are two small details that made me think a little. One is that Adam Driver’s character receives messages from his family. The other is that the ship he pilots doesn’t seem to do any special faster-than-light stuff. These facts imply that he was traveling from one part of our solar system to another as opposed to traveling interstellar distances between different star systems. Thinking that through further, we are left with a notion: these alien humans are from either Mars or Venus. That’s just enough of a hook for this sci-fi lover; if they make a sequel for some reason, I’d check it out.
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