Kylo Ren: Before The Dark Side.
65 million years ago, Kylo Ren crash-lands on Earth the day before the asteroid hits.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… Kylo Ren, Master of the Knights of Ren, exuding Keanu energy, leaves his home planet Somaris on an interstellar mission that would separate him from his ailing daughter (Chloe Coleman) for 2 years, but would earn him the cost of her treatment. Snoke obviously wasn’t paying him enough to afford health care.
Hitting an asteroid field, his ship goes down. We see the title card, “65” – underneath it, a sentence continues, “… million years ago, a visitor landed on – Earth.”
Kylo’s trek begins, with the only other crash survivor (young Ariana Greenblatt as Koa), to find his ship’s crashed escape pod. While battling dinosaurs!…
With his 3D-hologram Siri-thing, Kylo locates the pod, but it also alerts him to something in the sky on a collision course with the planet, here at the tail end of the Cretaceous (a period in Earth’s prehistory that would only be named 65 million years later). Such a grand, audacious concept! The Chicxulub asteroid, on its death-dive to the Yucatan Peninsula! This premise alone gives the movie heft – oh, and Adam Driver as Mills aka Kylo. Another interesting premise is that on a planet across the universe, convergent evolution made anthropoid creatures that look like Adam Driver, with that same fruity half-goatee.
The beautifully-rendered dinos are the other feature of this movie, which is otherwise a boring chase movie with all the requisite clichés, with the ticking clock being THE asteroid, whose crater was theorized and discovered by Luis and Walter Alvarez 65 million years later.
That misshapen final dino that looks like a quadruped tyrannosaur is apparently a Fasolasuchus. Kudos to the filmmakers (co-writers-directors Bryan Woods and Scott Beck) for not simply jogging out Ole Faithful (T-rex), but demerits for making that Faso so anatomically incorrect (wrong size, wrong bone structure, wrong period – it was Triassic, not Cretaceous, and it is definitely the Cretaceous here, because it’s the day the asteroid demarcated the K-T boundary). And in the finale, why is it chasing Mills when there are two freshly-killed tyrannosaurs at its feet? Well, at least they got velociraptors right: dog-sized therapods hunting in groups.
At one point, Mills wipes out a whole herd of carnivorous, long-bodied dinos (that are probably junior Fasolasuchus?). I wonder how that affected the evolutionary tree. Is that why Hitler got born? Is that why unicorns don’t exist?
When Mills finds Koa, I lose all interest in the emasculating dotage (same with any movie that foists a woman onto a man to protect, thereby cramping their masculinity – THE TRANSPORTER, WATERWORLD, THE POSTMAN, MIDNIGHT SKY, et al – and masking it under the male character’s “journey”).
And now it gives Mills an excuse to dialogue. And because Koa doesn’t speak his language, Mills speaks as he might to a young child, or a golden retriever (for the American audience); it also gives him the surrogate father ethos, and a reason to get rescued. And she, of course, is annoying at every turn (leaving Mills to extricate himself from a cave after he saves her, using up all the explosives at once, getting mad at Mills that her parents are dead). Read all about it in the Idiot’s Guide To Screenwriting Tropes.
And there’s that same conceit with learning language: he tells her “Quiet,” and she repeats, “quiet”; then he says, “and move” and she just repeats “move” – what happened to the “and”? How did she figure “and” was an unimportant conjunction? When he says, “It’s just water,” she repeats, “water” – how did she pick the subject noun?! But she says it as if reading it: “Wahh-terr” – why are you extemporizing?! Just say it in the accent you heard HIM say it!
After their craft experiences catastrophic damage in the final anatomically-incorrect dino attack, they take flight – because fluffy Movie Sparks don’t really mean anything’s broken. They turn back to see Earth immolated. Mills must be thinking – Wow, that’s the end of that planet… but he had no idea that WE would come along – the REAL destroyers of the planet. Not as powerful as a Death Star or Starkiller Base, but just wait’ll he gets a load of our hydrogen bombs pointed at each other that we’re going to set off soon.
Someone should make a movie about THAT apocalypse… I’m betting they can still call it “65” as in 2065…