The Stream: A very predictable and kind of generic spy/secret agent action movie.
The Big Screen: A great ensemble of formidable women with a standout performance from Penelope Cruz.
The Final Bill: A strong cast saves this otherwise unremarkable action movie.– Trip Fontaine
Director: Simon Kinberg
Writers: Simon Kinberg and Theresa Rebeck
Stars: Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Penélope Cruz, Diane Kruger and Sebastian Stan
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rating: PG-13 for violence and some strong language
Runtime: 1 hour 56 minutes
Production Companies: Universal Pictures, FilmNation Entertainment, Perfect World Pictures
Platform: In Theaters January 7, 2022
Trailers: Uncharted, Moonfall, The Batman, Marry Me, Ambulance
Hey, Streamers! Are you ready for a history lesson? According to The 355, the title is a reference to the codename of an unidentified woman who was a secret agent for the Patriots during the American Revolution. Who knew?!?! You learn something at the movies every day. On this day, The 355 was also attempting to teach how disparate women from around the world can come together to thwart nefarious plans to destroy the world. I caught The 355 in theaters, and here’s whether that trip was worth the potential exposure.
In The 355, Mace (Jessica Chastain) is a CIA agent sent on a mission to retrieve a device that could likely start an international incident if it fell into the wrong hands. At the same time, a rogue German agent, Marie (Diane Kruger), intercepts Mace on her mission and complicates things. As the plot thickens, Mace and Marie are joined by Mace’s friend, British MI-6 agent Khadijah (Lupita Nyong’o, and a DNI agent and psychologist, Graciela (Penelope Cruz) in their quest to recover the device and protect the world from impending doom. Globe hopping and lots of shooting ensue.
The plot of The 355 is not really important, unfortunately. Most of these secret agent movies have the same basic plot and we get nothing different here. Here the main agents are international women that come together in this mission and that’s about all that’s different. From about the 10-minute mark, you know exactly who did what and where this all will end. Now, that can be good on a boring Sunday afternoon but not so great in the theaters. I tell you with movies like this if the characters are not compelling, then it is unlikely that the movie will work. Luckily, the producers got a great cast of women to portray these agents. Each one fits their role perfectly. They all get their moment to shine. In my opinion, Penelope Cruz is the best of this good group. Cruz knocks it out of the park every moment that she’s on screen. And her character has the most emotional and relatable character arc to boot. The other ladies just do the regular kicking of the tucus and taking of the names.
The 355 is your typical spy/secret agent action thriller. The mission is not particularly interesting, and the movie itself is predictable. However, the cast is excellent, especially Penelope Cruz in a standout role. While I saw this movie in theaters, it is not necessary to see The 355 there. Don’t miss this when it’s on your favorite streaming service. For that reason, it’s a handful of popcorn.