A CIA agent (Jessica Chastain) leads a team of female spies against cyber terrorists in The 355.
An international cast of A-list Hollywood actresses kick asses but can’t save a spectacularly tangled spy actioner. The 355 has a team of formerly opposing female spies who team up to stop cyber terrorism. They literally chase a backpack around the world as they slap, stab, and shoot a bevy of villains along the way. The film is full of ridiculous twists and turns that are broadcast from a mile away. The 355 is sure to provide a legitimate solution for action junkies. Too long a running time and a bad script unfortunately put a strain on the talented actors.
Jessica Chastain plays CIA agent Mace Brown. She and her partner / lover Nick (Sebastian Stan) are commissioned to restore a hard drive from a renegade Colombian officer (Edgar Ramirez) in Paris. The drive contains cyber tools that can compromise any networked computer system. The exchange is not going well. Other parties, including the German agent Marie Schmidt (Diane Kruger), are looking for the cyber weapon.
Mace finds herself on the run. She is recruiting Khadijah (Lupita Nyong’o), an old friend and former MI6 computer expert, to help her find the drive. They soon find themselves allied with Marie and an innocent Colombian therapist (Penelope Cruz) who is caught up in the riot. The women are caught by betrayal while a ruthless enemy pulls the strings from the shadows. They get another ally (bingbing fan) when the Chinese government joins the fight.
The 355 has more twists than a bag of pretzels. The biggest is glaringly obvious within minutes of the first act. The story then skips back and forth as the spies realize that there is no one to trust. The antagonists have somehow infiltrated every government organization, but are fighting tremendously to get their hands on the ride. The same problem, ridiculously, remains for the protagonists. They easily hack any computer, get anywhere safe, but somehow they can’t snatch a bag from speedwalking terrorists. None of this makes sense, especially when the villains leave our heroes alive for no reason whatsoever.
The action scenes are brutal and well choreographed. Jessica Chastain and Diane Kruger have elaborate car chases and fights that escalate to a climax with shotgun syringes. The 355 had to trim the narrative fat around the action. The screenwriter and director Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Dark Phoenix) achieves the female empowerment goal. The cast delivers the action goods in spades. My interest waned as the plot kept dealing with left-field developments. The last act strains gullibility to the point of tearing it apart.
You have to take a look at The 355 to understand the meaning of the title. An elite team of ass-kicking female characters does justice to a high-profile cast. Jessica Chastain can’t go wrong in my opinion. The all-star team works well together. I sincerely hope to see her in a sequel. But the plot for this film is too scattered. It’s completely nonsensical and pointless for over two hours. The 355 is produced by Perfect World Pictures and Freckle Films. It will have an exclusive theatrical release on January 7th from Universal Pictures.
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