Adrian Graham

Man carrying young woman through swamp
65 / Sony Pictures

65 (a quick story analysis)

I was curious why 65 has a low 35% score at Rotten Tomatoes. So, I watched it to see what had gone wrong.

In a nutshell, there’s too much going on. There are so many superfluous story elements and not enough time to explore them: the over-played daughter father bond, time travel (or not), humans landing on Earth 65 million years ago, a dinosaur shoot ’em up, and a planetary extinction event posed by the meteorite that killed off the dinosaurs. You can hear the movie pitch – it’s Jurassic Park with space travel and a heart warming parent/guardian child relationship.

The problem is that this turns out to be a cocktail with so many ingredients that there is no time to explore anything beyond cliché. To make everything infinitely worse, the protagonist and girl don’t speak the same language.

The girl goes from being an annoying hapless female character (emotional, useless, and constantly getting into trouble) into a cliché of the strong female character. There’s no learning curve. She never earns her power. The male guardian is no hero either – he’s bordering on the stereotypical hapless female character himself… falling over, falling out of trees, falling unconscious. You get the picture.

65 is an example of a story with too much going on, and the dangers of trying to fuse deep emotional meaning into a mindless action story.

Saudi Arabia’s Neom project

The Line concept art, from above
The Line concept art, from above
The Line inside view, concept art of apartments and interior green space

The Neom project is straight out of science fiction. The Line, which is part of the Neom project, is a linear city 170 kilometres long, 200 metres wide, and 500 metres high. Discovery UK made a documentary about it, The Line: Saudi Arabia’s City of the Future in Neom (YouTube). In another YouTube video This City Concept Breaks Architecture (The Line), Dami Lee points out the poor track record of cities built along a straight line.

The Line is incredibly ambitious. The project reminds me of Dubai’s Palm Islands – a statement that fuses power and vision with money and real estate. As a social experiment, it references the 15 Minute City concept, a city with no cars. On a darker note it conjures up the psycho-geography of J G Ballard’s novel High Rise. The big question is — how much of The Line’s 170 kilometres will ever be built?


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