If you asked the artificial intelligence program ChatGPT to write a dinosaur/space movie as if Steven Spielberg and James Cameron were trying to outwit each other, you’d probably get something more entertaining than the noisy hack job “65,” a movie as exciting as watching footage of someone, in this case, Adam Driver and his young co-star, Ariana Greenblatt, on the “Jurassic Park” attraction at Universal Studios.
The writers of “A Quiet Place,” Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, clearly aren’t done with monsters, family, and the apocalypse. But this time, also as directors, they have decided to take us not forward but back, to when a routine trip went disastrously wrong. Think “Gilligan’s Island.” Not because it’s like “65”. Just because it’s more entertaining than “65.”
Do you like introductory text that eliminates that lingering worry that you won’t be expository satisfied? Because “65” has that. “BEFORE THE ADVENT OF HUMANITY” says the first. “IN THE INFINITY OF SPACE” says the following, which, by the way, is situated in the context of… space. So that everything is clear! And later, after a sensitive audience has guessed from the massive dinosaur footprint that exploratory mission pilot Mills (Conductor) has been stranded on a particular planet at a very particular time, here come the words: “A STAR VISITOR LANDED ON EARTH”. Yes, that “65” refers to the number of millions of years ago. Not, as one might expect, the number of minutes in the movie.
Do you like stories about absent dads? From the movies, they seem to be an emotional connection between humanity’s short time on Earth and the social systems in galaxies long ago. (“ChatGPT, add George Lucas into the mix.”) Taking on one more gig, Driver’s character leaves behind not only an adoring wife, but, more urgently, an ailing, adoring daughter (Chloe Coleman). , whose holographic messages of love, longing, and rising disease stab at his heart as he tries to stop the dinosaur teeth from stabbing into all parts of his body. So if you wanted to give him just one human companion to add to that guilty parent feeling, out of all the potential passengers cryogenically frozen to survive an inconvenient boating accident, who would you choose? A grandma? Mistaken! “ChatGPT, are you familiar with ‘The Last of Us’?”
Do you like made up languages that don’t translate because it’s cuter when a different figure learns English? Perhaps Beck and Woods just didn’t feel like writing dialogue for the girl, Koa (Greenblatt), that would help establish this girl as a person beyond initially seeming like a wild creature and then a surrogate daughter. Dialogue is hard! So instead this poor character gets an untranslated language until she can trigger “aww” by learning the words “home” and “family” and, using stick figures, making up rock art.
Do you think Adam Driver can do something? He might have thought that too, signing up for this.
Do you think dinosaurs have long outlived their CGI-generated ability to instill awe and terror? Because the filmmakers seem pretty convinced that 172 “Jurassic Park” movies haven’t been made yet. Sometimes that kind of innocence inspires reinvention. Sometimes it just means that once majestic, still mysterious, and endlessly fascinating creatures start to feel like faceless goons in a video game.
Do you occasionally want studios to play cool-looking movies that appear stripped of color via a Snapchat-like filter that would add tails, faces, starbursts, energized magnifications, and bright rainbow-hued likenesses? I’m not saying there are fast-paced black-and-white adventure movies from 90 years ago with more visual breadth, color gamut, and compositional tension than “65,” but hey, well, yeah, I’m saying that.
Is “65” a bad hall of fame movie? No, and that may be your problem. It’s just silly and boring. He leaves humans from eons away in an extinction level event, and instead of being completely weird and wonderful about it, he prefers to be completely imitative and accommodating. Way to go extinct.
Classified: PG-13, for intense sci-fi action and danger, and short, gory imagery
Execution time: 1 hour, 33 minutes
Playing: in general release