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Written and directed by Scott Beck & Bryan Woods, 65 (2023) tells the story of two humanoid aliens that survive a space shuttle crash on earth 65 million years ago on the eve of the mass extinction of the dinosaurs. As they battle prehistoric beasts in their effort to escape, Mills (Adam Driver) finds a new daughter in Koa (Ariana Greenblatt) just as she finds a new parent in him despite the fact that they don’t speak the same language. After a few close scrapes they escape total annihilation.

65 promised a B-Movie spectacle of a man with a laser gun battling dinosaurs like Turok: Dinosaur Hunter but delivers a slow burning survival thriller about family instead that owes more than a little to the paternal dynamics between Dr. Grant and the Murphy kids in Jurassic Park (1993). The film is full of flashbacks to Mills’ past that reveal the slow painful death of his biological daughter from an unnamed disease while he’s “working” out in deep space for months or years at a time. There’s no room for subtext in 65 as these heart wrenching scenes play out for optimum effect, forsaking all subtlety.

Testosterone fueled battles with dinosaurs are the most dynamic feature of 65 but these are scarce. Adam Driver as action hero can’t help but be Adam Driver indie movie darling. Even a wound he suffers on his hand in 65 is reminiscent of the cut he accidentally inflicts on himself in Marriage Story (2019). There’s an endearing chemistry between Driver and Greenblatt but the filmmakers don’t seem to trust the actors to convey a complex array of emotions without on the nose dialogue. So Driver the action movie hero never really gets to exist in 65 even though his character and the general plot are derived from the sci-fi action movie classic Predator (1987).

The results of this aesthetically schizophrenic venture owe little if anything to the B-Movies evoked by the trailers for 65. The film doesn’t even seem concerned with the scientific accuracy of the dinosaurs depicted in the movie. All 65 is and wants to be is an ode to fathers and fatherhood.