‘The 355‘ is a spy thriller directed by Simon Kinberg who co-wrote the film with Theresa Rebeck. It is co-produced by actress Jessica Chastain who apparently suggested the idea to Kinberg. It was released by Universal Pictures and would later make its way to the Peacock streaming service.
Colombian DNI agent Luis Rojas (Édgar Ramírez) stumbles on a hacking device designed by a drug lord for arms dealer Elijah Clarke (Jason Flemyng). Its algorithm is so powerful, it can break through any firewall. CIA Agents Mason “Mace” Browne (Jessica Chastain) and Nick Fowler (Sebastian Stan) go to Paris to help Luis, but are disrupted by German agent Marie Schmidt (Diane Kruger). During the chase, Nick is killed by Clarke. Mace is allowed to go to retrieve Luis by her CIA superior Larry Marks (John Douglas Thompson). She recruits retired MI6 Agent Khadijah Adiyeme (Lupita Nyong’o) The DNI sends therapist Graciela Rivera (Penélope Cruz) to retrieve Luis, but he is killed by Clarke’s thugs. This forces the four women to work together to track the device, but will the Chinese spy Lin Mi Sheng (Fan Bingbing) outsmart them all?
All of the actresses and actors all do a stellar job. I have no complaints about their performances, especially Fin Bingbing. Quite frankly, she was the coolest character and I would not mind a spin-off of her taking down the corrupt politicians in her county. I would watch that film for sure.
The problem with the film is two-fold, the plot was way too predictable. I knew who the villain was within twenty minutes of the story. Anyone with a brain knew it and if someone claims they were surprised, they are lying. Yes, it was that obvious.
There were also several logical fallacies in the film. At one point, the team seems to have a victory and the bad guys just show up. Out of nowhere and with no explanation. They do not explain how this happened. In the same sequence, the bad guys kill some hostages, but then they just leave the team alive. Again, for no possible reason. When the team confronts one of the bosses, Jessica Chastain‘s character declares, “I have friends too.” Okay. Where were they for… the movie? It was little things like this that made it odd.
Of course, it was littered with woke nonsense. We get to see women take down men who are twice their size… in high-heels, of course. At least with a film like Close, about a female bodyguard, they would give her a weapon to fight off larger opponents and more reliable footwear, making the action seem way more believable.
Not to mention we get treated to monologue that was meant to be subtle inserts of feminism, but they might have as well been yelled at through a bullhorn. I was also scratching my head at first with how many bald men were presented as thugs in the movie, but then it donned me. The men are NPCs for the protagonists to beat on and lecture about them about their privilege. It was a clear message and a trope that Hollywood is overusing.
The title is a reference to a female spy who worked for George Washington during the American War for Independence which is kind of cool, but they took WAY too long to reference it. Honestly, I give the filmmakers credit for trying to create a new franchise instead of crashing another one, but it was a false start. In the hands of a better director and writer, I think it could have gone somewhere.
Bottom line, The 355 had a good set-up and premise, but the writing and woke content failed its actresses making it seem mediocre and tired.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Foul language, Action violence, Sexual themes
FAVORITE QUOTE: That’s what we do, right? We put ourselves in danger so that others are not. We all look different, speak different, but we are the same.
Check out the trailer below:
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