Review: The 355

Director Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Dark Phoenix) newest film is The 355 – an all-female spy thriller that spans the globe as a group of agents track down a hard drive. The hard drive can do various things but in the wrong hands it could lead to World War III. It’s the usual doomsday tech seen in a spy thriller.

Mace (Jessica Chastain) and her partner Nick (Sebastian Stan) are a CIA team sent to do a simple buy. When meet up to buy the world’s most dangerous hard drive from Luis (Edgar Ramirez), Marie (Diane Kruger) interrupts the buy and the drive is lost.

With the fate of the world at stake, Mace teams up with Khadijah (Lupita Nyong’o), Marie, and a psychologist named Garciela (Penelope Cruz) to retrieve the drive before it lands in the wrong hands.

A film about a global group of badass spies teaming up to save the world should be fun. Each woman bringing a specific expertise to the group while having to work together should be an even better time. Throw in the talented cast of actors, beautiful international locations, and a shoot-em-up third act…this should be a wildly entertaining time at the movies. Yet, somehow it isn’t

The 355 is loaded with talent, but manages to miss the mark at every turn. The paint-by-numbers plot feels more like stitched together ideas than a cohesive story. The moments that don’t feel stitched are every bit as generic as they read on the IMDB plot synopsis.

The big issue isn’t that the film is “bad” there isn’t enough going on to make it more interesting than its trailer. The action set pieces are mundane and the characters, that should be compelling, are left to do the most uninteresting things. It’s almost as if the film goes out of its way to be unimaginative. It’s a two-hour big yawn that waste some of Hollywood’s most talented actors.

Most action movies are generic and fans of the genre accept that. They know Bond will save someone and get the bad guys at the end. It’s what happens between the film’s bookends that makes it a fun journey. Nothing of note happens during the middle of the film, it’s spiritless and dull at points. When the film finally reaches its conclusion, it’s shockingly uneventful. There was nothing to make audiences care about the characters, their plight, or where the story is going next.

On HBO’s The Wire, Stringer Bell once said nobody got nothing to say about a 40-degree day, nobody remembers them. The 355 is a 40-degree day. It’s a formulaic spy thriller packed with talent that nobody is going to remember. It’s film with no personality and nothing interesting to say. It will hold your attention long enough to finish but it’s not good enough to remember you watched it.

Grade: C