A family man finds himself fighting for his own and a young girl’s life in prehistoric times.
One of the most unusual films to surface in 2023 just happens to be one of the most creative action films that we have seen in recent years. 65 is basically a film that was made out of necessity. Even during a global pandemic it is difficult to keep good producers like Sam Raimi (Spider-Man) from wanting to let his creative juices flow.
The result is 65, an action flick that was filmed with limited locations and a very limited cast. Does that mean lack of quality? Hell no, Raimi managed to get one of the biggest stars on the planet, Adam Driver (Stars Wars VII – The Force Awakens), to be his star and placed two of Hollywood’s best writers, Bryan Woods and Scott Beck (the men who created A Quiet Place), in charge of the project. The result is something very special indeed.
The film takes place 65 million years ago – when Earth is going through its prehistoric phase. Other planets have life on them, and that life includes Mills (Adam Driver), his wife (Nika King – Euphoria) and their daughter Nevine (Chloe Coleman – Dungeons And Dragons: Honour Among Thieves).
In a bid to raise money to help with Nevine’s treatment Mills takes on a long-haul transporter pilot job and on one mission finds himself getting into difficulty and ultimately crashing onto Earth. When he awakens, he discovers that all on board have died except for a mysterious teenager, named Koa (Ariana Greenblatt – Avengers: Infinity War).
Together the pair must try to find a way to battle the dangers of prehistoric Earth as they attempt to get to a part of the ship that can get them off the planet. What makes that journey even more difficult is the fact that they don’t speak each other’s language which makes communication difficult.
Given the difficult circumstances that 65 was shot in the result is nothing short of remarkable. For the most part of the film, it is a two-hander and given Koa and Mills communication issues the relationship that develops between the two characters is amazing. Of course, the fact that their scenes are written by the guys who found fame by writing a film in which the characters rarely talk probably helped a little more than it hindered.
Storywise things are kept pretty basic. Once Koa and Mills begin on their journey to the other part of the ship it becomes a story of them battling for survival against the many obstacles that seem to be placed in their way – mostly vicious prehistoric creatures hellbent on making a meal of them. To the credit of the filmmakers they don’t let the film become a blatant Jurassic Park rip-off. Instead the action sequences are creative and many of the creatures themselves are things that while believable are not things that many would have seen on screen previously.
To be honest 65 is one of those films that you feel is going to be a cult classic. While many may ignore it in cinemas while it is competing against some of the big blockbusters this is a film that is really going to be savoured by the true cinema fan – especially all the action devotees out there. The action sequences here are slick and even the creative nature of setting this film 65 million years ago shows that as filmmakers Wood and Beck have a real creative edge.
As if to show up their genius 65 has a finale that is not going to fail to impress. The ending ties in well with world history and has enough creativity around it to make the audience go ‘wow.’ Let’s face it this is not a film that is going to allow you to sit back in your seat to relax. With epic battle sequences between man and beast and a few jump scares along the way you are going to find yourself sitting right on the edge of your seat for most of the time.
Much of how this film appears on the screen comes down to the acting performances of Adam Driver and Ariana Greenblatt. 65 feels like a meeting point of Adam Driver’s acting abilities. Here he delivers the true drama we have seen him bring to the screen in films like Patterson and Marriage Story and mixes that with his action finesse that has made him a star in the Star Wars universe. Ariana Greenblatt also announces herself as a future star here, while the abilities of Chloe Coleman are once on display here even though she only really has one scene of note. For such a young actress Coleman’s body of work is already suggesting she will be an Oscar winner one day.
While 65 might be competing against some pretty epic blockbusters in the cinemas at the moment certainly give it a chance. It is creative, it is fresh, and it is going to be loved by those that like their action films with a little bit of edge. This is one of surprises of 2023 – it may have a B-Grade plot line, but it gets an A+ for originality.