This was a movie I was really interested in watching, after seeing a poster advertising it on a bus stop and watching the trailer for it. And I really did enjoy the movie.
The opening scene was a really engaging one, with Mills (played by Adam Driver) interacting with his wife and daughter right at the beginning. Nevine, Mills’ daughter, was clearly suffering from some kind of illness, that made Mills’ need to take on a job that would take him away for two years, all to make sure Nevine could get the treatment she needed.
The flashbacks and the messages from Nevine added another layer to Mills’ character and were probably one of the most emotional aspects of this movie. There were only four characters who appeared in the movie, at least living and human, but I felt that made the film even more effective. Fewer characters meant it was easier to care about those who were there.
The other really strong part of this movie, of course, was the closeness that formed between Mills and Koa. Despite the language barrier between them, which I thought was a nice touch, there was clearly a lot of care there…and making sure Koa lived also gave Mills something to live for, which he clearly needed after the ship crashed into the planet and the passengers who were being transported were all killed.
As seen in the trailer and on the movie poster, Mills and Koa actually ended up on prehistoric Earth, which added in a whole lot of danger for Mills and Koa. They not only had to deal with the threat of the looming asteroid (that had been responsible for the ship crashing in the first place), but also the dinosaurs and the various predators that needed to eat.
It was really good to see how resourceful Mills and Koa were, especially for Koa only being about nine years old. And it was really good to see her learning some words in Mills’ language and repeating them back to him…and I loved the scene where she wants to put a flower in his hair and while Mills is resistant at first, he’s eventually shown wearing it…a bit grumpy in doing so, but still having made her happy.
There were some really good elements of foreshadowing in this movie and really tense moments that had me on the edge of my seat. The technology that Mills used in the movie was interesting and technology I could actually see being developed in the very near future. But Mills and Koa also had to use their brains and reflexes to survive, which they did really well in this movie.
All told, I really enjoyed this movie and it was really easy to care about the characters. I’d be really interested in seeing a sequel to this and perhaps more of the planet Mills and Koa originally came from.