Welcome to our Colossus Movie Guide for 65. This guide contains our detailed library of content covering key aspects of the movie’s plot, ending, meaning, and more. We encourage your comments to help us create the best possible guide. Thank you!
What is 65 about?
65 is dinosaur spectacle meets a horror survival in the woods meets a story about grief meets an exploration of found family. In other words: Jurassic Park + Predator + Gravity + Big Daddy. Thematically, you can view the time Mills and Koa spend on Earth as metaphoric for being in a state of grief and the process of working through such tremendous loss in order to move on with your life.
Movie Guide table of contents
- Mills – Adam Driver
- Koa – Ariana Greenblatt
- Nevine – Chloe Coleman
- Alya – Nika King
- Written by – Scott Beck | Bryan Woods
- Directed by – Scott Beck | Bryan Woods
The ending of 65 explained
The end of 65 begins after Mills and Koa make their way to an escape pod. Koa discovers her parents aren’t alive and is, for a brief time, upset at Mills. But at any minute a gigantic asteroid will hit this exact area, so there isn’t much time. Smaller debris striking nearby causes the escape pod to plummet down a cliff. Back on ground-level, the ship attracts the attention of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Then a second.
Mills leaves the pod. Fights the dinosaurs. But a third appears and chases him. He leads the hungry creature to a nearby geyser. The combination of the scalding water and a poison spear strike from Koa take out the last dinosaur. The duo flee Earth before the meteor strike.
Instead of following the characters, the camera stays on Earth. Time passes and a city develops. It’s our modern civilization, or something like it.
What we see with the end of 65 is tragedy and recovery. The meteorite hits Earth. It annihilates the dinosaurs. But, after some time, human civilization replaces them. It’s not the same but it’s not nothing. Life goes on.
You can apply this to Mills. The death of his daughter, Nevine, is the equivalent of a meteorite strike. It’s awful. Time passes. And wild, random circumstances bring him and Koa together. She’s not his daughter. They’re not even related. But this experience bonds them forever. You can easily imagine when they return to Somaris that Mills adopts Koa and they form this new kind of family.
Gravity had a similar story. Same with the video game and TV show The Last of Us. In The Tree of Life, Terence Malick used the same meteorite impact for the same symbolism: the loss of a child, how that loss changes the world as you know it, and how even though it doesn’t seem possible that some form of recovery can occur.
The themes and meaning of 65
Guilt and grief
Mills’s daughter, Nevine, is sick. The treatment she needs is expensive. To pay for it, Mills accepts a job that needs two years to complete. It’s a hard decision because if he passes on the job then it might be impossible to pay for Nevine’s treatment. But if he takes it, there is no guarantee. The worst case scenario is he goes on the job, the treatment doesn’t work, and Nevine dies before Mills returns. Sure enough, that’s exactly what happens.
So when we pick up with Mills, he’s not the same hopeful man from the beginning of 65. This is why when he first arrives on Earth, he tells Somaris not to send help. Nevine has already passed. His guilt is tremendous. Mills doesn’t want to fight to live. He’d rather let his grief consume him.
Redemption and fear
When Mills discovers Koa, his parental instincts kick in. The opportunity to save her is, in some small way, an opportunity at saving himself. It’s redemption. What he couldn’t do for Nevine. This comes with mixed feelings. Fear of failure. Fear of reliving the pain of losing someone you care about. Fear of caring for and about someone. Mills believes he fumbled that responsibility once before. This time, will he succeed?
Mills no longer has Nevine. Koa no longer has parents. Their situation is similar to Joel and Ellie in The Last of Us. While they’re not related, circumstances bring them together in this father-daughter dynamic. You can imagine a situation where Mills and Alya adopt Koa. It may not be the family they thought they’d have, but it’s family nonetheless.
Why is the movie called 65?
65’s story is about what happens when this alien crash lands on a strange planet. It just so happens that the planet is Earth and the alien is human-like. And the time period is 65 million years ago, the Cretaceous period when dinosaurs were the dominant form of life on Earth. By calling the movie 65, it puts extra emphasis on the idea of the when. It also allows for the initial shock/twist of realizing that the planet Mills winds up on is our own.
It’s not uncommon for sci-fi stories to explore this idea. Prometheus, Jupiter Ascending, and a famous TV show (that I don’t want to spoil the twist to) all rely on the idea that humans are foreign to Earth. It’s a bit more complicated in 65 as we’re not sure if what we see is a discovery of Earth and Mills’s planet will eventually colonize it? Or if Mills somehow is the reason humanity exists on Earth? Or if humans will just evolve naturally and Mills being there had nothing to do with our eventual formation and rise to prominence?
Important motifs in 65
We’ve discussed how 65 is a metaphor for the grieving process. With the dinosaurs being the main antagonists of the story, constantly being a threat to our main characters, you could view them as symbolic for the bouts of negative emotions that are part of grieving. You’re trying to live your life, you’re trying to go about your day, when suddenly the negative feelings appear and wreak havoc as you struggle against them. The horror genre uses this symbolic technique a lot. In The Babadook and Talk to Me the monsters represent grief. Or in It Follows, the monster is a stand in for anxiety. In Smile, it’s trauma.
Questions & answers about 65
How did Mills go back in time in 65? Does 65 take place in the past or future?
He didn’t go back in time. 65 just takes place 65 million years ago. There is no time travel.
What does the ending of 65 mean?
It’s a statement on the way in which life can keep going after something traumatic happens. In this case, it compares the asteroid striking the planet to a parent losing a child. It seems like the end of the world, but there is a tomorrow.
Are Mills and Koa human?
No. They’re humanoid. But clearly from another planet. So 100% alien. The question the movie doesn’t really answer is whether or not Mills’s planet eventually colonized Earth. In which case Mills would be “human” since we’d be descendants of his planet. But if people just evolved naturally then we’re similar but genetically unique.
“How would people just evolve naturally?”
The same way they do in other sci-fi movies. The idea would be that species evolve based on the atmosphere and makeup of the planet. If a planet had a similar atmosphere to Earth, then you could assume the life that evolves there would be similar. If there are 10 million planets like Earth, more than one might evolve humanoids that appear identical.
What planet was Mills from?
Somaris. And he’s a pilot for what is essentially an intergalactic UPS.
What is the creature at the end of 65?
It has the head and neck of a Tyrannosaurus but is a quadruped much like a Dimetrodon except lacking the sail. As far as I’m aware, there was no quadrupedal carnivore the size of a Tyrannosaur. Which would make the dinosaur at the end of 65 fictional. Most of the four-legged dinos were herbivores like the ceratopia, sauropods, stegosauria, and ankylosauria.
Did any of the other passengers on the ship survive?
Nope. There were no other survivors.
What caused Mills’s ship to crash?
Going through an asteroid field. Nothing special.
Is 65 about the advent of humankind?
No. Despite taking place on prehistoric Earth, there’s nothing in the film that confirms that the crashed ship is what leads to the evolution of humans.
Now it’s your turn
Have more unanswered questions about 65? Are there themes or motifs we missed? Is there more to explain about the ending? Please post your questions and thoughts in the comments section! We’ll do our best to address every one of them. If we like what you have to say, you could become part of our movie guide!