Movies are back and so is the BMT angst about what will or won’t qualify using our (probably now arcane) rules we made up over a decade ago. I’ve tried to be more relaxed about all this as RT scores have generally slid up, but there is always that moment where we find ourselves watching the ticker on a slam dunk like 65 and being like “come on, really?” It has kinda become a joke that a lot of these sure fire stinkers end up settling perfectly at 50% and the reviews are all like “I hated it and it represents the death of art. But it does deliver what it promised: big budget slop. Eat your slop piggies. 2.5/4 stars.” Moonfall was the last great BMT victory I can remember… that is before 65 gave us a scare, but ultimately settled at 35%. Phew. The sentiment appeared to be mostly people wishing it was better… they so very much wanted to like this big dumb dino movie.
To recap, Adam Driver has a sick kiddo at home and bills to pay. Best way to pay is a two year stint in space. Unfortunately, while he’s away his daughter dies… oh and also his spaceship hits an asteroid and crash lands on Earth circa 65 million years ago. Not great. He’s like “may as well roll over and die” (I get it), but then sees that a little girl also survived the crash. So, much like Bernie in Cocoon: The Return, he forgoes suicide for an adventure with his new friend (nailed that very appropriate reference). They find the other part of their ship where there is an escape pod and plan their trek. The girl doesn’t speak English, but they make due. Besides, that seems like small potatoes next to the big ol’ dinos trying to eat them. They go through a series of trials and battle numerous insects and dinosaurs before finally getting to the escape pod. At that point they realize that they are on Earth just before the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs is about to hit. Gulp. A bunch of asteroid debris hits the planet and tips over the escape pod. Driver goes out to try to get it reoriented but is attacked by dinos, which inadvertently tip the pod back over. But the girl doesn’t leave Driver. No way! She instead jumps out and stabs the last dinosaur in the neck with a poisoned bone. Hooray. They hop into the pod together and escape back to safety. THE END.
We are back in theaters, Jack! The movie going experience was perfectly fine for 65, which is appropriate for a film that is also just fine. I had come off a very long day staring at a computer screen and I just wanted to relax and see some dinos. Mission accomplished. That being said, this film is aging like a bottle of fine milk. The more I remember and think about it, the more I’m pretty sure I don’t like it. My primary concern is the structure of the film. It’s more like a series of short episodes where everything that can go wrong does go wrong for our two heroes. The story about Driver’s daughter’s death also seems like it should play a central role in the narrative, but almost seems besides the point in the finished product. I suspect something was lost in translation because the end result is a movie that is 90% pretty OK action scenes involving dinosaurs and then 10% a film trying to say something about loss and grief and death. It just doesn’t come together and so overall, it’s fine (but really probably worse than that).
Hot Take Clam Bake! That little girl was a figment of Driver’s imagination. Here’s a man devastated by his choice to leave his dying little girl at home while he goes on a space mission. He’s missed her death… and then he crashes. There is nothing to live for, he has noted how everyone else on the ship has died. But somehow just before he kills himself he magically finds a little girl roughly the same age as his daughter that he has to shepherd to safety? Suddenly he gets a chance to be a good dad? Sure, sure, sure. Definitely not your brain creating a beautiful fantasy for you. You are definitely a really great dad who saved a perfect daughter substitute. Oh you have to teach this girl to speak your language and all she has are videos of your actual daughter? How convenient. Hope she doesn’t turn out to act and sound exactly like your daughter, you crazy person. Hot Take Temperature: Embrace of the Vampire.
‘Ello everyone! 65? More like 1 out of 5! Amirite? What if we made Jurassic World but like … much much smaller and worse looking? Let’s go!
- BMT Live babbbbbbbbbby. And just in the nick of time to get it in for the Winter Season. I think this ultimately was a good and honestly irresistible choice because it is just so perplexing. What is this film? Why is this film? I can understand the idea of “Dinosaurs = $$$”, but then why spend the money on Adam Driver when I’m willing to bet some young actor would be champing at the bit to get this part with these writers. This just feels like a film where they’d announce it and say the lead actor was Sebastian Stan and you’d be like “oh cool” and then remind yourself who Sebastian Stan is (he’s the Winter Soldier in the MCU).
- The theatrical experience was a delight as always. Shockingly busy. I think we watched the last prime time showing at the major cinemas around where we were. Only matinees from that point onward. But we were the first people in the theater, but then probably a dozen more people showed up.
- Oh the movie. It was fine. Kind of a dumb idea for a movie. I would understand the point a bit more if you didn’t see the dinosaurs that much. Like if they waited on the reveal as to what 65 meant until the very end as the asteroid hit and it showed the title again and revealed the “million years ago” subtitle.
- Similarly I would understand the point a bit more if it was more like a survival horror? Or perhaps if it was more frantic without the girl in tow? Like if the idea was he had cured his daughter and he was so close to getting back to her, and so he’s driving himself continually to make this 100 mile journey in like three days fighting dinosaurs and slowly getting more and more beat up and then he finally gets there and escapes, but the entire film is just this ball of stress slowly being wound up.
- But that isn’t what this film is. It is an action film with two actors, one of which is a child, and the CGI isn’t very good. It’s unfortunately not a particularly good idea for a movie since I think that’s the plot of multiple segments of multiple Jurassic Park films.
- The studio must have really mangled this thing. It doesn’t make much sense otherwise. There is no way this is the vision of competent screenwriters.
- I’m going to pop a sneaky Setting as a Character (Where?) for Mexico, because they show the asteroid striking quite close to the landing site and that’s in Mexico, so. Love the borderline A+ Temporal Setting (When?) for 65 [million years ago], so silly. I’ll give it a Bad, the film isn’t interesting enough to be a true BMT.
Read about the sequel 64 in the quiz. Cheerios,