The 355 is a lifeless spy film that you have seen before. With performances keeping the movie afloat and a couple spy sequences that actually provide some nice subtle fun the rest of it just is forgettable.
Do you know what you get when you mix an awesome spy premise, a fantastic cast of ladies, the director of X-Men Dark Phoenix, and a script that has one note characters? If you guessed a January Movie called The 355 you are indeed correct. This is the first big movie of the year and as an indication it isn’t the greatest. A movie I went in wanting to love and hopefully would start the next big Action franchise but sadly, it didn’t.
I’m a huge fan of spy films, but in this vein It also makes me very picky. It seems like every so often a great one comes around with a great cast and it is either GREAT and the next big franchise – Or it’s sadly boring and lifeless. The 355 sadly falls into the lifeless category with its main stars really being the only glaring bright spot of the entire film.
With every review I do I love to talk about my PROS first and that is where I want to give a major shoutout to each actor in this film for rising above and beyond the script. While the script sadly gives us one note dialogue and character types, the likes of Jessica Chastain is able to rise above and give a character to route for even if it’s in a generic route. Alongside Lupita Nyong’o who is just incredible in every role, there are two moments in particular where her acting capabilities go above the moment that was just shown in the film.
A moment that needed better execution was bumped up just for her. Diana Kruger also goes above and beyond in these moments retaining what might be my favorite performance in the entire film. Penelope Cruz is a darling in this and even though I didn’t love her character I LOVED HER in this. Bingbing Fan is also pretty decent, sadly she doesn’t get enough screen time to really make an impact and same goes for Edgar Ramirez and Sebastian Stan. All are good but again needed more to their roles.
The performances weren’t the only thing I appreciated about the film though, I genuinely think this film would have worked better as a more subtle spy thriller than one that tries to tie in a ton of action scenes to just have action. I write this because one of the best sequences in the film is one where all our main heroes must tail a group of terrorist through a marketplace.
I got the vibes of Assassin’s Creed here and it just made for a more thrilling moment compared to any of the action scenes. Adding in there are some moments in the story that provide some jaw dropping moments that I like they took the risk on, but wish the execution would have been stronger.
This now details my biggest issues of the film and its truly the execution of nearly everything surrounding the performances. Starting with the action set pieces — each one tries to do its own style of Bourne and it does NOT work. It provides a headache at times as some of the action is just shot in a jumpy cut up style that is a dishonor to any of the choreography that was developed on set. Bourne is one of the few movies to do shaky cam right, but in this generation of films I like my action more in straight and not chopped up. It was a baffling choice to have this film edited this way and I really wish it could have been executed greatly.
Another aspect that brings the film down is its story, which is the same generic spy story you have seen 1000 times before. This is the type of movie you find on FX or USA one night and decide I’m going to watch this, they have a great cast in this! Then you watch it and completely forget about everything you just saw. Because the story has fun moments to it and even shocking revelations. Everything is so predictable at times and even if it’s not there is no build up from the direction to bring it fully to life.
The 355 is a lifeless spy film that you have seen before. With performances keeping the movie afloat and a couple spy sequences that actually provide some nice subtle fun the rest of it just is forgettable. Every twist is seen a mile away, and the one shocking moment in the film while I was shocked I felt nothing in the moment. This could have been the start of something new but sadly it’s just the forgettable film of 2022 already.
About The 355
CIA agent Mason “Mace” Brown joins forces with a rival German agent, a cutting-edge computer specialist and a Colombian psychologist when a top-secret weapon falls into the hands of a group of mercenaries. Together, the four women embark on a breakneck mission to save the world while staying one step ahead of a mysterious figure who’s tracking their every move.