CIA agent Mason Brown (Jessica Chastain) enlists rival German agent (Diane Kruger), MI6 computer scientist (Lupita Nyong’o) and Colombian psychologist (Penelope Cruz) to help track down dangerous technological weapon which has fallen into the wrong hands.
Female-led action movies, or more specifically female-led spy action movies, are nothing new.
Recent efforts like “Atomic Blonde” with Charlize Theron or “The Villainess” with Kim Ok-vin, or returning to “La Femme Nikita”, this is a sub-genre that has enjoyed varying levels of success over the years. year. With ‘The 355’, there is an exceptional cast assembled here, but the end results are decidedly not. For a cast that has so many Oscar winners, Golden Globe winners, and genuine talent, they’ve been completely missed by a particularly silly storyline and flat, unimaginative action.
Simon Kinberg, the co-writer and director here, bears enormous responsibility for this failure. All you have to do is watch “Dark Phoenix,” the latest installment in the “X-Men” franchise before it’s fully swallowed by the Marvel / Disney mothership, to know it’s just not capable. to reconstruct a sequence of action. . Despite all the efforts of the cast to practice and learn how to fight convincingly on screen, etc., the directing and editing makes it boring and cheap. Not only that, the endless chop-chop-chop of action is on par with something like ‘Socket 3‘.
With last year’s “AVA” falling prone and “The 355” slated for on-demand darkness in the near future, it looks like Jessica Chastain likes the idea of turning to high-flying action. but can never seem to land it. The fault, fortunately, is not in his own skills but rather in the choice of the directors. In the case of “AVA” having the guy who did “The Help” to do a gritty assassin story and the guy who did “Dark Phoenix” and made sure “X-Men” stayed dead. until Marvel can revive that wasn’t going to help.
Yet even if there was a more competent director behind the camera here, “The 355” would still crumble under the terrible boredom of its script. Trying to create a double cross maze scenario ends up making it so convoluted that no one will care in the end. While traveling the world may seem like an international flavor, it only serves to show that the scenery tries to make things exciting when nothing else is. Of course, spy action movies are a particularly dumb breed and suspending disbelief comes with territory, but “The 355” asks way too much for so little in return.