Adam Driver stars in sci-fi adventure 65 about a pilot who goes on a space expedition in order to afford a cure for his sick daughter back home. His ship crash-lands on an unknown planet: Earth, 65 million years ago.
On paper, Adam Driver vs Dinosaurs... In Space (my title's better) sounds like a riot. A gloriously old-fashioned Cowboys Vs Aliens-style nonsensical mishmash. The trailer, however, promised something else: a grittier version of this, with lots of dinosaur action and a father-daughter-survive-the-wilderness scenario, to add some heart into the mix. Somehow, the result wound up as After Earth meets a million other movies. Adam Driver is a great choice for a film like this; a better one than this; and he is good in this role: he brings just the right amount of toughness, humanity and desperation to his character, and handles the action sequences really well.
Alas, even one of the very best actors in Hollywood working today can't save this film, directed by the writers of A Quiet Place, which refuses to entertain at all cost. The film seems almost ashamed of itself, hyper-focused on trying to tell an almost clichéd tragic father-daughter survival plot, uncomfortably throwing dinosaur toys in our faces - presumably to wake us up - instead of delivering the goods. As unlikely as the plot sounds, it's in fact even more unbelievably silly than you thought as [SPOILERS] our hero finds himself not only in space, not only a long time ago (again), but on a dinosaur planet mere hours before a meteor is about to hit it. We've all been there, I guess.
65 begged to be a much more larger-than-life beast than this. Granted, the action scenes where Driver faces off against dinosaurs are decent enough, but there is just not enough spectacle here to be a film you'd either wanna see on a Friday night with friends or at home just hanging out. It's awake just enough to remind you the movie is still going. 65 is a nice-looking film with two solid performances leading the way (as annoying as those characters' dynamic is) and it should have been bold, not only in its premise (space man v dinosaurs), but in its ideas and visuals too. Even as a moving drama, this doesn't hit the mark as plot and characters remain unfleshed out, and not in a cool spaghetti western kind of way. Too much time is spent quietly building suspense for rather un-frightening (and unoriginal) events.
There are worse science fiction films than this one but this is not much of anything, a passable B-movie at best. 65 had a cool idea and a damn good actor to do it with but the clumsy tone and underwritten script leave this one as cold as the Ice Age.