The 355

Equality and the pursuit of it can be a strange thing. Here you have the perfect example of this. An all-female led action film. Which, on the surface, is a great idea. One long past due. Unfortunately, despite how much I wanted to like The 355 and for how many reasons, it is a poor film. So all that is proven or achieved in regards to the fight by women for equality is that they can make just as poor action films as men.

After losing a deadly top secret weapon on a botched job, CIA agents and partners Mace (Jessica Chastain – The Help, Zero Dark Thirty) and Nick (Sebastian Stan – Avengers: Endgame, Captain America: The Winter Soldier) are separated when she is blamed for the disappearance. This leaves Mace on the outside looking in. So, she assembles a new team to try and track down who has the weapon.

Her team is made up of damaged German agent Marie (Diane Kruger – Inglorious Basterds, Welcome to Marwen), former British MI-6 agent and computer specialist Khadija (Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a Slave, Us) and Columbian psychologist and mother Graciela (Penelope Cruz – Parallel Mothers, Vicky Cristina Barcelona). While following the trail across the globe from Paris to Morocco, the group comes in contact with a rather shadowy woman, Lin Mi Sheng (Bingbing Fan – X-Men: Days of Future Past, Iron Man 3). They wonder whose side she is on while trying to stay alive and recover the weapon before it is used.

While trying to be a film akin to the Bourne series, The 355, directed and co-written by Simon Kinberg (Dark Phoenix), is tripped up by poor writing. It is not the acting, which is good by all of the women, nor the action sequences, rather it is the incredibly predictable story. Due to the rather transparent storyline, we end up not really caring about the women (even the fish out of water, non-agent Graciela, who spends most of the film crying from fear) which is a sure way to sink a film like this. No surprises nor anything we have not seen before.

Compounding the unoriginal story is the lack of zing in the direction. Kinberg does not seem to have any ideas about how to bring the film in a direction that will keep us interested. He keeps falling back on the fact that the agents are female instead of trying to JUST make a good film. Bring something to the spy action film table which will have your brain working instead of just relying on strong action and the requisite formal party agents attend all dressed up.

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