With all the ingredients to make a great action movie, does The 355 mean how many times you’ll watch it or its best of the year ranking?
From the first trailer, The 355 always looked like it could go one of two ways. A fresh take on the spy movie in the vein of Atomic Blonde, or a generic action movie that doesn’t really know what it wants to be.
The 355 tells the story of a group of spies from across the globe that must come together to form a new international team led by Mace (Jessica Chastain) in order to stop a powerful billionaire from obtaining a device that can hack into anything, anywhere.
The best parts of the movie are definitely the action sequences, while our main characters may fall into the usual issues of never being hit by a single bullet, they still manage to create a tense atmosphere for short periods.
The 355 plays its strongest card for the cast list. Jessica Chastain has proved time and again that she is a top tier actress, and with a supporting cast of actors with the likes of Inglourious Basterds’ Diane Kruger, Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, and The Winter Soldier himself Sebastian Stan, you have serious talent under your belt.
Unfortunately, once the movie begins the cast of this 2-hour plus movie start to disperse. Sebastian Stan is presumed dead for the majority of the movie; Lupita Nyong’o has to climb into vents as quickly as she can, as she is relegated to just the tech person. Penelope Cruz isn’t even a spy, she’s a therapist that just helps out. And while she is heavily in the marketing for the movie, Bingbing Fan only appears for the last 20 minutes. This leaves Chastain and Kruger as the main pieces of the cast, and your six action stars turn into two at best.
However, the biggest downside of the entire movie is the plot. The 355 prides itself on being seen as something different and new, while also being the most generic action movie possible. This comes to a height when The 355 manages to have the hack-into-everything device halfway through the movie. Knowing full well they could just destroy it and be done with it, but no, it’s lost and they’ve to get it back again, almost as if they finished writing the screenplay and it was only an hour-long, so they had to go back and stretch it out. This leads it to becoming a movie that is 1 hour longer than it needs to be, and you feel it.
The 355 wants so badly to be in the conversation with James Bond and Mission Impossible, but it never makes any sort of impression. Compare it to recent female-led spy movies like Atomic Blonde and Black Widow and The 355 still falls by the wayside.
Overall, The 355 is a movie that may be good to throw on Netflix some evening, but not worth a trip to the cinema. It never makes an impact, and unfortunately wastes a great cast that could have fashioned something new and exciting, but instead creates a bloated mess of an action movie that will likely be forgotten come year's end.
Director: Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Dark Phoenix)
Theresa Rebeck (Catwoman)
Simon Kinberg (Sherlock Holmes, This Means War)
Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty, Interstellar)
Diane Kruger (Inglourious Basterds, National Treasure)
Sebastian Stan (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, I, Tonya)
Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave, Us)
Penélope Cruz (Vicky Christina Barcelona, Vanilla Sky)
Bingbing Fan (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Iron Man 3)
Running Time: 2h 4m
Genre: Action Thriller