’65’ (2023) Ending, Explained: Did Mills And Koa Find Their Family?

Adam Driver’s return to mainstream action extravaganza, adorned with prehistoric dino excitement, leaves a bad taste in the mouth in its attempt to tell a story that’s pretty generic and lacks entertainment value. Created by the team behind “A Quiet Place,” “65” takes elements of sci-fi horror from the “Aliens” franchise, some obvious nods to Steven Spielberg’s pioneering prehistoric creature romps, and the tried and tested trope of pairing an exasperated father figure with a teenager he doesn’t quite understand (literally this time). Despite being set in the Cretaceous era, “65” doesn’t really showcase much of a major portion of its selling point—the gigantic lizards—through its 90-minute runtime, the unlikely father-daughter relation as the narrative core also fail to deliver anything unique, and the resultant experience is a forgettable one where only the score can be regarded as being the saving grace.

Spoilers Ahead

’65’ Plot Synopsis: How Did Mills And Koa End Up In The Prehistoric Age?

Mills, inhabitant of an undisclosed alien planet (whose denizens are humanoid appearance-wise), an interstellar pilot by profession, contemplates his latest mission with his family of three, consisting of his wife Alya and daughter Nevine. Mills, who often has to live away from his family due to the nature of his profession, has been given an assignment for a long-range exploratory/transport job that will keep him separated from his family for two years. After a brief discussion with his wife, Mills lets her know about his willingness to take the mission, as the handsome pay in exchange will ensure his daughter’s treatment, who suffers from a chronic disease. Mills shares a loving bond with his daughter and fears telling her about his departure, but Nevine has figured out the news on her own already and wishes her father farewell. The father-daughter duo bonds as Mills promises Nevine he’ll be returning soon.

It’s not the first time Adam Driver has had to fly around the galaxy in a spacecraft, although not in the former grandiosity of the leader of the First Order. During the interstellar journey, the spaceship Mills is assigned to pilot gets caught up in debris while passing through an asteroid belt, which damages the ship significantly and prompts Mills to crash land on a nearby planet. As the ship enters the planet’s atmosphere, the intense heat and friction cause it to split apart, and all of the cryopreserved passengers except Miles die upon the devastating impact. The viewer is made aware of the fact that the planet is, in fact, Earth from the late Cretaceous period, 65 million years ago in the present timeline. Although the particular purpose of this choice is not revealed throughout “65” movie, a disheartened Mills regrets taking the decision as he looks back in the memory logs of his daughter sent by his family, and the impossibility of his return creeps up on him. Mills also discovers the hostility in the form of dinosaur-filled terrains on this habitable planet and locates the only chance of escape in the only functional escape pod, which had split-landed 15 kilometers away at the top of a mountain. During exploration, Mills rescues a teenage girl named Koa from a broken portion of the spaceship; she is the only other living passenger except for him.

Miles And Koa’s Escape Mission

Searching through the ship’s directory, Miles comes to know that Koa’s parents were among the deceased passengers, but he can’t muster up the courage to disclose that to the timid, anxious girl who can’t stop getting concerned about her parents. The language spoken by Koa is unknown to Mike, and the translator’s being damaged adds to the communication problem. (“Logan” with Dinos?) However, Mike manages to convey to Koa their next course of action, i.e., approaching the functional escape pod by traversing through the perilous jungle, and he lies to Koa about her parents being there in order to convince her. In Mill’s absence, Koa plays a number of Nevine’s memory logs sent during different periods of time, which show Nevine’s growing difficulty accepting her father’s absence and also her deteriorating health. The sequence is reminiscent of the scene in “Interstellar,” where Cooper watches Marv’s video logs. Mills returns and stops Koa from watching any more of the memory logs, revealing the common insecurity about his privacy being invaded.

During their journey, Miles and Koa get on much friendlier terms as they learn to depend on each other despite the communication gap. During a particular instance where Mike and Koa had to fight for their lives by fending off vicious Nothosaurus, the experience traumatizes the kid to the point she becomes unwilling to continue the journey. To comfort and distract her, Mills uses one of his whistle tricks that amaze Nevine and finds out it has a similar effect on Koa also. During the night, the duo sets up camp in a cave, and to help the girl feel at ease, Mills plays one of Nevine’s holographic memory logs despite his initial reservations. Later, as they run through the caverns to escape a Tyrannosaur attack, a collapse causes them to get separated from each other, and Mills’ parental instincts kick in with full force. After escaping the caverns separately, the duo reunites as Koa saves Mills from getting sucked into quicksand. An overjoyed, relieved Mills embraces Koa in a way he would have hugged his daughter. As they venture to their destination, Mills sees the asteroids making their way to the planet, with enough space debris to decimate half of the planet.

’65’ Ending Explained: Did Mills And Koa Find Their Family?

As the duo makes their way through the predator-filled wilderness and into the separated escape pod, Mills finds out the essential parts are still functional, and to add to their fortune, the distress signal he was transmitting during the journey has been responded to positively, with the coordinates of a rescue vessel being provided too. However, Koa becomes extremely distressed seeing the absence of her parents and soon realizes that Mills had lied to her about them being alive. Angry and heartbroken, the kid dismisses Mills and retires to seclusion. Mills approaches Koa, apologizes to her for lying, and shares his emotional burden with her to make her trust him once again. We get to know that the rest of Nevine’s memory logs consisted of the news that, during Mills’ absence, she’d passed away, making the decision to undertake the job an unforgivable affair for Mills. To make amends for that, Mills is willing to do his best to ensure Koa’s security. Despite the communication gap, by now, Koa has come to understand Mills a lot better, and the duo reconciles.

As they are about to launch for their escape journey, the fragments of the giant meteor hit their pod and topple it over. To make matters worse, a couple of Tyrannosaurs join the party to give Mike a chase, although, to their credit, they conveniently reorient the escape pod by crashing into it. Koa plays the holographic memory of Nevine to distract the theropods, and Nevine’s last heartfelt message of letting her father know how much she used to love him gives Mills the additional emotional charge he needs to dispatch both Tyrannos. As one last hurdle, an unidentified hybrid carnivore attacks an unarmed Mills, and Koa saves his life once again by stabbing the creature with a poisoned spear she crafted earlier. As “65” recreates the Chicxulub asteroid event that caused the mass extinction of dinosaurs, the duo safely escapes to the silent darkness of cold space, venturing to the designated rescue location and getting a sense of closure in each other’s presence.

Mills was aware of his daughter’s demise as soon as he accessed the compiled memory logs, so in a way, his being adamant about escorting Koa to safety makes sense as it became his redemption journey. Helping the teenager emotionally as well as from external threats, Mills’ guilt-ridden consciousness gets somewhat alleviated. In the course of the journey, the duo bonded as they sought solace in their new family, and Mills’ unraveling the truth and sharing the most sensitive portion of his life with Koa turned their interdependence into mutual trust. As “65” ends, Mills returns to his wife, and an orphan named Koa will most likely be accepted as a part of their family.

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Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

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