Unfortunately, The 355 is a run-of-the-mill action movie with meek attempts at building notable relationships between its stars.
|Screenplay By||Theresa Rebeck, Simon Kinberg|
|Where To Watch||In Theaters|
|Genre(s)||Action, Adventure, Romance, Thriller|
|Duration||2 Hours 4 Minutes|
|Lin Mi||Bingbing Fan|
Invented in Bogota, Columbia was a decryption device that could hack planes, government agencies, economic systems, you name it. The inventor was the son of a drug lord, and between a raid by the government paired with the betrayal of an international terrorist funder, the device ended up swapping hands many times. Thus, it drew the attention of the CIA and the German BND.
This led to Mace and Marie ending up on a head-on collision to secure the device, and as it keeps slipping through their hands, Khadijah, a former MI6 agent, gets recruited. Also, there is a therapist named Graciela and a Shanghai-based agent named Lin Mi. Together these ladies take on the swath of criminals vying for the power to potentially control the world.
Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered
- Reason(s) for Film Rating: Gun violence, blood, language, consumption of alcohol
Cast & Character Guide
Please Note: This is not an exhaustive list of every cast member.
Mace (Jessica Chastain)
Some may say Mace is the perfect agent. She has no real attachments, has the endurance to chase and have extended combat, and while she does have the potential to take her actions a bit too far, she usually tries to be by the book. However, while she only has her job and perhaps partner Nick, this doesn’t mean she isn’t willing to lose both in pursuit of justice.
Marie (Diane Kruger)
The daughter of a double agent killed before she turned 18, Marie followed in her father’s footsteps and ended up working for German intelligence. But, with the stain of her father’s legacy, paired with her refusal to have a partner, often she finds her mentor having to vouch for her since she presents a multitude of red flags.
Khadijah (Lupita Nyong’o)
Recently retired from MI6, Khadijah just wanted normalcy. She got that through doing presentations on cyber security and having a boyfriend, but with Mace needing allies and Khadijah being considered an old friend, she is lured out of retirement for an international threat to cyber security.
Graciela (Penelope Cruz)
All Graciela was supposed to do was get the hacking device from the soldier who took it from the raid. That was her only job. However, after a series of unfortunate events, she finds herself dragged into having to travel all over the world due to being bestowed as the only means to track where the device is. Thus forcing this therapist, with a fairly quiet life in Colombia, to live out multiple life-threatening days.
Lin Mi (Bingbing Fan)
In the latter half of the film, Lin Mi is a secret agent who sees the device as something useful to identify those who seek it, not just its original purpose of disrupting or destroying society.
Nick (Sebastian Stan)
Despite being one of the people Mace is closest to, there is no denying she doesn’t particularly like having Nick as a pattern. This is mainly due to him not contributing much or what could help the situation and often having Mace do the hard work. But with his charm and presenting her a rare showing of consistency in her life, while Mace may complain, she doesn’t make it a big deal.
The Attempts To Raise The Stakes
Beyond world peril, one of the things The 355 tries to do to make things grander is give the majority of its heroes attachments that can be used against them. For Graciela, it is her husband and two sons back in Columbia; for Lin Mi, it is her dad, who works with her, and lastly, there is Marie’s boss, who partly raised her after her father’s demise.
While I wouldn’t say any of these relationships depict the kind of emotion they were meant to on the page, you have to admire the attempt to make things a bit more personal for those who had someone.
The Effort Put Into Marie and Mace’s Bond
When it comes to Mace, her only real connection in the world is Nick, who is her best friend, her partner, and while he’d love to be her lover as well, there is the issue of what could happen if things go south? So when he is no longer part of the picture, the film pushes Marie, who has trust issues and doesn’t work with a partner, to bond with Mace.
At times, you like this combination, for it seems their loneliness speaks the same language and their trauma as well. However, something about it feels forced. The main reason? Well, despite the two-hour time length, The 355 isn’t necessarily dedicated to building up these characters. Rather, it speeds through the character development, gives us long chase and fight scenes, and attempts to build tension at times, but more often than not, it falls flat. So when it comes to Marie and Mace, while it is interesting to watch them go from rivals to allies, their chemistry is too sporadic to ever want them to make the team up permanent.
A Boring Villain
Do you know what makes for a boring villain? One whose only reason to do evil things is money. And the film tries to throw in a few twists to make things interesting, but the only way you could possibly see this villain in a more negative light would be if they were a stereotypical Middle Eastern or Russian adversary.
On The Fence
The Action Relied Too Heavily On Camera and Editing Tricks
Every action film can’t be like Atomic Bomb or John Wick and make every punch, kick, or gunshot worthy of a wince, flinch, or some form of discomfort. However, while you can see well-choreographed chases and fights throughout The 355, it undercuts the action in an effort to present style. Which, after a certain point, takes the fun out of the strangely long chase scenes we see and extended gunfights.
Our Rating: Mixed (Divisive)
If you’re someone who just enjoys a mindless action movie, The 355 will meet your needs. However, if you want personal investment, top-notch action, grandeur villains, and heroes who rely on more than simply being women who kick ass? The 355 may not be for you.
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