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When past meets future, who will survive?

65 is a 2023 science fiction action film written and directed by Scott Beck and Bryan Woods (A Quiet Place) and produced by Sam Raimi. It stars Adam Driver and Ariana Greenblatt.

Driver plays Mills, a space pilot for an exploratory mission who finds himself stranded with a young girl on a hostile planet after their ship collides with an undocumented asteroid. The twist? That planet is a prehistoric Earth, 65 million years prior to the present. Now the two must find their way back home while both contending with some of history's biggest predators.

65 contains examples of:

  • Advertising by Association: The trailer plays up its creator's past work on A Quiet Place, as well as Sam Raimi's involvement.
  • All There in the Manual: Mills's wife never gets a name, only being called "Nevine's Mom" in the credits. However, some sources reveal her name as Alya.
  • Always Save the Girl: A non-romantic variant. After the crash, Mills resigns himself to his fate but, upon discovering Koa, his entire reason for living becomes to protect her and ensure that she gets home, regardless of the cost to himself.
  • Ancient Astronauts: Aliens visit Earth in the Cretaceous and there's a vague hint that they might have settled Earth some time after the film's events.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology:
    • While pop-culture has immortalized 65 million years ago as the time when the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event that killed the non-avian dinosaurs occurred, according to radiometric dating it happened closer to 66 million years ago — about a million years before the movie's events, supposedly, take place.
    • Almost none of the dinosaurs in the trailer are feathered, despite research having known for decades that plenty of them were. The raptors do have a faint covering of proto-feathers along the back, when they should have proper bird-like plumage covering their body.
    • Additionally, several carnivorous dinosaurs are quadrupedal, which no known theropods were.note 
    • The cave dwelling oviraptorid (besides being scaly) has teeth. Oviraptorids all had toothless beaks.
    • Most of the dinosaurs are amalgamations of generic saurian features mushed together rather than anything recognizable from the fossil record. Most obviously with the giant quadruped carnivore, which is like nothing known to have existed during the Cretaceous Period.
      • The late quadruped might be an attempt to depict a rauisuchian, prehistoric crocodile relatives with erect gaits and strikingly tyrannosaur-like skulls, some of which like Fasolasuchus could get to pretty large sizes. Many of them were likely capable of semi-quadrupedal locomotion as well (though some are thought to have been obligate bipeds). If that's the case, then they are still inaccurate in that it looks too much like a Tyrannosaurus and has the wrong body anatomy, and it is still much too large. They also lived in the Triassic with the very first dinosaurs, not at the end of the Cretaceous.
    • The raptor-like quadrupeds are identified in the soundtrack as Lagosuchus. This opens a huge can of worms, considering the fact that (A) Lagosuchus was not a dinosaur (B) the animals depicted are several times larger than Lagosuchus (C) Lagosuchus hailed from the Mid Triassic, not the Late Cretaceous.
    • At the end, the asteroid is shown striking the exact area the characters just were. The meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs is thought to have struck in an ocean region (an area now known as the Gulf of Mexico), not dry land.
    • The pterosaurs, although fairly good for what is ostensibly a mid-budget B-movie, have teeth and long tails; long-tailed pterosaurs are last known from the Late Jurassic, while pterosaurs with teeth are last known from about ninety million years ago, long before the K-Pg boundary. Furthermore, closer inspection reveals their eyes are modeled in their nostrils.
    • The quadruped dinosaurs (the raptor-like ones and the tyrannosaur-like one) are both modelled with bulging rib cages with noticeable waists and mobile shoulders, as though they were mammals, but they are things that dinosaurs, or any reptiles for that matter, do not have.
  • Asteroid Thicket: One sets the plot into motion.
  • Ate His Gun: Mills briefly considers this during his Heroic BSoD after the crash.
  • Badass and Child Duo: The two main characters, as introduced in the trailer, are a space pilot and a nine-year-old girl who are the only survivors of a spaceship crash.
  • Big "NO!": Mills, after a cave-in separates him from Koa.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The hand-whistling Mills teaches his daughter comes up again when he does it to comfort himself during a rough patch on Earth, only to hear Koa imitating him. After the cave-in, his fears that Koa was killed are eased when she whistles.
    • Early on, Mills takes out a group of pursuing dinosaurs with a marble-sized explosive. When he and Koa are trapped in a cave and the rocks prove too resistant to his hand tools, he remembers them and uses one to blow a path clear.
    • Mills stumbles onto an acidic geyser early on, with the skeleton of a tyrannosaur lying on top of it. After he runs out of ammo trying to kill the last of the theropods that attack him and Koa during the climax, he leads it into another such geyser to kill it. It takes two blasts to do the job.
  • Colony Drop: Increasing the tension of their already dire situation is when Mills discovers that a massive asteroid (yes, it's that asteroid) is on a collision course with the planet they're stuck on, and they're doomed if they don't get into space within twelve hours. Smaller meteors also prove a threat near the end as the asteroid closes in.
  • Conflict Ball: In the scene where they attempt to sleep in the cave, a huge carnivorous dinosaur shows up and chases them, so they go into one of the passageways. The easiest thing to do considering the cramped and dangerous caves would be to wait for the creature to leave and then go out the way they came. Instead, Mills decides to endanger Koa and himself by trying to slip through one of the cavern's passageways to the outside. And he succeeds in almost getting them both killed and manages to separate himself from her in the process. Really, there was no reason they couldn't simply wait and go back; the creature would've wandered off after they didn't return to be its meal and it was much safer and easier, but the movie needed a conflict so Mills took the ball in hand anyway.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • The escape pod that is needed to get the two protagonists off the planet just happens to be at ground zero for the giant meteor that is going to hit the Earth in a few hours.
    • Both parts of this ship land completely level with the ground around them, not at an angle.
  • Conveniently Close Planet: The ship is damaged out in space and conveniently finds a planet to crash on.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: Badass alien soldier Adam Driver vs dinosaurs.
  • David Versus Goliath: The final battle has Mills and Koa going up against a pair of T-rexes, followed by the quadrupedal theropod that attacked them in the cave earlier. They manage to kill all three of them.
  • The Day the Dinosaurs Died: Two Human Alien survivors of a spaceship crash find themselves on prehistoric Earth during the time of dinosaurs. But not just any time, they have the incredible misfortune to land on the planet less than one day before the cataclysmic Colony Drop. It's partly justified; they only got stranded on the planet when smaller asteroids, debris surrounding the big one, impacted their ship in outer space. What's a little less justified is that they happened to crash at the exact spot the meteor is also going to crash.
  • Death World: The film depicts Late Cretaceous Earth as a bleak hellscape full of acidic geysers, lethal quicksand, poisonous flora, parasitic bugs, and hyper-aggressive reptiles.
  • Delicate and Sickly: Mills's daughter Nevine has an unspecified lung ailment; his wife convinces him to take the two-year mission because doing so will triple his pay, giving them the chance to afford effective treatment. Sadly, it's a moot point, as she dies while he's on the mission, though the final projection of her indicates she may have survived.
  • Distant Finale: The start of the end credits shows Earth, devastated by the asteroid impact, passing through the Ice Age, to a following temperate period, and finally with a modern city off in the distance.
  • Dumb Dinos: Unfortunately, all the dinosaurs in the film basically count. None of them really display much intelligence and instead seem to just be mindless killing machines. The most egregious one by far is the one in the last scene. It steps onto a geyser and the geyser shoots up boiling hot water and acid all over it...but it doesn't move away after the first burst of water doesn't kill it. It looked rather painful and it's hard to believe that the tiny morsel of meat that Mills would provide the creature is worth second and third degree burns, but lo and behold Koa manages to stab it in the eye so it doesn't move off the geyser and then it dies when it's hit a second time.
  • Earth All Along: The trailer initially portrays the planet as being an alien world... before revealing to the audience that it is prehistoric Earth.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: Mills gives up on tunneling out of the cave, which Koa refuses to accept. As he tries to convince her it's hopeless, he yells, "I don't have any other tools!"... only to then remember the explosives he has in his pouch.
  • Excuse Plot: The movie featuring Human Alien characters from an advanced civilisation 65 million years in the past has little bearing on the overall plot and isn't explored in much depth; it's largely an excuse for the main characters to interact with, get chased by and fight dinosaurs.
  • Eye Scream: One creature is attacked in the eye on two separate occasions; Mills shoots out one eye while trying to force it away after it attacks them in a cave, and Koa stabs a branch in the same one when it is about to attack Mills.
  • Genre Shift: The trailer at first starts as a standard futuristic sci-fi thriller about a space pilot and a young girl whose ship gets hit by a meteor and crash-lands on a mysterious alien planet, only to reveal that that planet is actually Earth sixty-five million years ago, with a horror element coming from the dinosaurs that menace them.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: That is: the humans who lived on Earth 65 million years later never learn about it.
  • Herbivores Are Friendly / Predators Are Mean: The predatory dinosaurs are one and all portrayed as vicious, slavering beasts; and the one non-hostile animal encountered is, predictably, a herbivore.
  • Hope Spot: Mills and Koa come across a herbivorous dinosaur caught in a tar pit. They manage to rescue it and set it free, only for the poor animal to be immediately butchered and dragged away by a pack of raptor-like predators.
  • Human Aliens: The main characters hail from a far-off planet known as Somaris, but look and act exactly like humans so the fact they're aliens factors nil into the plot. Their civilization having several offworld colonies implies that they're ancient humans who evolved on a different planet before eventually colonizing Earth.
  • Informed Species: The small four-legged carnivores are supposed to be Lagosuchus according to the soundtrack. However, not only are they much larger than that animal, but they're depicted as quadrupeds when the real creature was probably bipedal— to say nothing of the fact it didn't live in the Cretaceous.
  • Language Barrier: Mills and Koa speak different languages, and the Universal Translator that would have accounted for that problem was lost when the ship crashed.
  • Liar Revealed: Mills manages to communicate that Koa's parents are on the mountain with the escape craft, knowing that she's the only survivor. While he admits he lied when they're trapped by a cave-in, she can't understand him and only realizes it herself when they reach the craft and there's no one else there.
  • Like a Daughter to Me: During their shared trials, Mills and Koa gradually become a surrogate parent and child to each other.
  • The Lost Lenore: Mills's daughter died during the two years he was on the mission, which is part of why he wants to protect Koa so badly.
  • Mammoths Mean Ice Age: During the Time-Passes Montage during the credits, it transitions forward from the decaying tyrannosaur skeleton straight to a snowy, windswept tundra which two woolly mammoths are shown walking through to quickly let the audience know what time period this is now.
  • Minimalist Cast: There are only 4 onscreen human (or rather alien) characters in the entire movie, which include Mills, Koa, Mills’ wife, and Nevine. Literally the only other humans are seen as dead corpses when the ship Mills is on crashes.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Both geographically and temporally, not only do Mills and Koa encounter species like Oviraptor (Asia) and Tyrannosaurus (North America) which lived at the same time but on different continents coexisting in the same region, but also species from completely different time periods like Lagosuchus and the Quadrupedal predator which may have been intended to be a Fasolasuchus (Archosaurs from the Triassic) living alongside late cretaceous-era dinosaurs and reptiles in the final days before the KT-extinction.
  • More Predators Than Prey: Almost every animal appearing in the film is a carnivore, including theropods, pterosaurs, and animals that look like early archosaurs (namely Lagosuchus). The only herbivores that appear are the remains of a dead hadrosaur and a juvenile, bipedal ankylosaur, and the latter is almost immediately devoured by a pack of raptors.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: Nevine passed away while Mills was on the mission, much to his regret.
  • Never Trust a Title: As any paleontologist or dino-geek would tell you, the KT-meteorite that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs actually collided with earth sixty six million years ago, not sixty five, which means the film takes place a million years too late, however it’s more understandable that the filmmakers used the title "65" as it is the more well known number that a casual moviegoer would associate with the extinction of the dinosaurs.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: During the climax the escape ship cannot launch as it is upside down. While trying to attack Koa, one of the theropods knocks it over so that it is now in the launch position.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: Terrifying as they are, the theropods are simply animals being true to their natural instincts.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: Mills and Koa never refer to the animals as "dinosaurs" or "creatures". Justified as they're not from Earth and have never even heard of dinosaurs before.
  • Oh, Crap!: Mills gets two in quick succession in the finale; when his gun runs out of power just as a second Tyrannosaurus arrives; then when it looks like he'll be able to escape, the Fasolasuchus he shot earlier looms out of the darkness, intent on revenge.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Mills dislocates his arm after falling down a tree, but when quadrupedal dinosaurs start to corner him, he manages to pop it back into place and is immediately able to grab and use his big gun to take them down.
  • Orifice Invasion: At one point a prehistoric insect manages to house itself inside Koa's mouth, which Mills is tipped off to when he sees her coughing up pus in her sleep.
  • Prehistoric Monster: Nearly all the dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals are shown as vicious, ugly, predatory animals that are trying to kill the two protagonists, routinely giving up easier prey to try and hunt them, even small ones that attack them like rabid dogs. The only benign dinosaur they encounter is itself almost immediately killed by a pack of raptor-like dinosaurs. The film seems to give off the impression that it's a good thing they're all about to be wiped out, so the Earth can be rid of such vile, slobbering beasts.
  • Quicksand Sucks: Mills gets caught in a pit of quicksand and almost gets killed, and is only saved when Koa arrives just as his head sinks under the muck and lowers a large tree branch which he can use to pull himself out.
  • Race Against the Clock: Later in the film, when Mills confirms that an approaching asteroid is going to hit Earth, he and Koa are faced with a race to get to the escape craft before the asteroid strikes. They literally take off as the asteroid enters the atmosphere.
  • Raptor Attack:
    • The raptors shown in the film are the standard scaly predators popularized by Jurassic Park, although they do have a faint covering of proto-feathers along the back. Interestingly, the film takes pains to show a variety of sizes of raptors, including one that's a spot on size match for the actual Velociraptor.
    • In a rather unconventional take on the trope, they also have quadrupedal animals that look and behave a lot like your standard movie raptor.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: With a couple of minor exceptions including an already dead hadrosaur and a juvenile ankylosaur that is swiftly killed by other predators, the dinosaurs are uniformly depicted as ugly, hyper-aggressive, always hungry monsters. Unlike other films that feature dangerous dinosaurs, they are never depicted in a majestic or even neutral light.
  • Robinsonade: As his narration in the trailer explains, the main character is trapped with a young girl on an alien world... or rather, prehistoric Earth.
  • Shown Their Work: While lacking in feathers, the large theropod that appears in the trailer has bird-like pupils and an accurate reptilian palette. Further teasers reveal it has snake-like scales on its stomach, something discovered in Allosaurus.
  • Shout-Out: It's probably not a coincidence that the antagonistic, quadrupedal theropod looks like a supersized version of the Indoraptor.
  • Sole Survivor: In the trailer, out of the 35 passengers on the ship, Mills was only able to find one other survivor of the crash - a young girl.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: All of the dinosaurs in the film consistently ignore easier or more accessible prey in favour of chasing down the protagonists. At one point a lean quadrupedal dinosaur kills a pterosaur, but quickly abandons its kill just to go after Koa. Special mention goes to the Fasolasuchus - after Mills shoots out one of its eyes, it tracks him down in the finale a day later to kill him.
  • Time Title: After the first act of the film plays with no title, "65" appears on screen as an establishing shot of Earth, before a brief Opening Scroll that re-establishes the premise.
  • Viewer-Friendly Interface: Similar to the Pulse Rifles from Aliens, Mills' assault rifle has a light-up bar on the sides that shows how many bullets remain in the magazine, which is good for Mills when he needs to quickly check how many bullets he has in a fight and for the audience to see that he doesn't have Bottomless Magazines, increasing the tension in said fight.
  • Wham Line: The time card "65 million years" ago pops up in the trailer as the main characters are alerted to the presence of a dinosaur.
  • Whateversaurus: The quadrupedal theropod that Mills fights at the end of the movie, prevented from being a T. Rexpy only by the virtue of there being two actual tyrannosaurs in the film. Most of the other dinosaurs are also unidentifiable, such as an herbivore that resembles a small bipedal ankylosaur, and some predators that resemble a cross between a monitor lizard and a featherless raptor.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The fate of Mills’ wife is never revealed. Also, a final hologram of Nevine mastering the whistle can be seen, but it is unknown if this is really her.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: Most of the animals seem to be intentionally designed to be as nasty and vicious-looking as possible, with gaunt, emaciated frames, misaligned snaggletoothed jaws, uniformly black or dark grey hides, naked scaly skin for animals we know were actually heavily feathered, random spines and spikes jutting from their bodies, all carnivorous, frequently slobbering, and being ridiculously savage and bloodthirsty, routinely prioritizing killing the protagonists over their own survival. This makes it less likely for the audience to feel bad when Mills slaughters them by the dozens despite not actually being villainous.