In space stories, 65 million years is a long, long time ago. But 65 million years ago, there was apparently another universe where civilized humans existed with poor health care systems, where they took jobs that they didn’t want because they needed the money.
An astronaut (Adam Driver) takes a shitty space-exploration gig to earn money for his sick kid, but he didn’t plan for the ship to hit a surprise asteroid field. The ship and all of its cryo-snoozing cargo immediately crash-lands on a VERY conveniently located Class M planet. Everyone dies except the astronaut (the credits say he’s named Mills, so there ya go) and one other person from the ship, a kid named Koa (Ariana Greenblatt).
The planet may as well be in the Dagobah System, with its swamps, forests, and strange beasts that you can hear, but not see. But at the 16 minute mark, the very-delayed title reveal for the film tells us that it is 65 million years ago… and the astronaut and girl have landed on pre-historic EARTH. (Cue dinosaurs!)
Now, technically that should be kind of a cool reveal (and if you know enough about dinosaurs, the presence of an extremely close asteroid field, including some really big rocks, is a fun add). But other than a few scares by some of the smaller, pointy, lizardy beasts, it takes its time even getting to as juicy a threat as a T-rex. Meanwhile, Mills and the kid are just trying to get to the last remaining escape pod from their ship, that was flung all the way across the valley.
This is not an awful idea for a film, but 65 somehow seems both rushed and slow. There is barely any setup (they crash almost immediately), nor any explanation or backdrop about the world they come from (just that he has a sick kid, plus there are apparently different languages other than, um, English) or where the ship was even going.
Plus there are details that are just kind of… dumb. Unless you are talking about a rift in the time/space continuum, there is no logical explanation why a character from 65 million years ago would hold up some sort of universal gadget and exclaim that a target on the horizon is 15 kilometers away. I mean, really? (Interestingly, in deleted scenes they at least make up non-Earth units of measurement.) Or even though their ship was split in half and the remaining escape pod was basically upside and half-ripped up, that they are pretty confident that there will be no problem just pushing a button and taking off.
Oh, but I may have spoiled it. The film barely clocks in at an hour and a half, and that generously includes the closing credits. Instead, I say spend your quality sci-fi time rewatching another story from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, with Jurassic Park as a chaser.