REVIEW: “THE 355” (2022) Universal Pictures

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Universal Pictures and director Simon Kinberg brings together an incredible group of women from Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Penelope Cruz, Bingbin Fan and Diane Kruger in it’s latest release “THE 355”.

The film follows CIA spy Mason (Jessica Chastain), as she goes off-grid after a tangled mess up debacle with fellow agent/love interest Nick Fowler (Sebastian Stan). On the hunt for a new mass destruction techno weapon – one that could probably bring World War III about and possibly destroy the world through the power of technology, she teams up with her old friend MI6 cybersecurity expert Khadijah (Lupita Nyong’o). But getting the disk eludes them as they battle as well against German BND Agent Marie (Diane Kruger), as they end up combining forces for the common good. As well, Colombian psychologist Graciela (Penélope Cruz), and Chinese MSS spy Lin Mi Sheng (Bingbing Fan), come into play as well, though Graciela is no spy – she is a mother with a family back home who was thrown into it all when her friend Luis Rojas (Edgar Ramirez) is killed. As well Lin Mi doesn’t join in until they get closer to the asset and expose the corruption that may take them down some paths that lead closer to home than they realize.

Now does this film involve brain surgery – no it does not. It is however full of decent action and can be entertaining for the most part – if it weren’t so darn predictable with the character story lines. It has it’s ups and downs, for the most part getting a bit more exciting in the second half where the device is put up for auction, but again, we are in the predictable ‘bad guys at the auction’ set-up here. And as I always say, you are only as good as your villain, which here is once again, predictable.

However all is not lost as the five leading ladies are all quite superb with their distinctive characters with all of them given a decent amount to do and flesh out their characters, though Fan’s Lin Mi character doesn’t show up till at least two-thirds of the way, she makes her mark. Their dynamics and chemistry are engaging as well though Chastain and Kruger’s respective agents spark off one another throughout with their entertaining, but averse relationship, while Nyong’o brings the ‘heart’ to the film in her role as retired MI6 computer expert. It is however, Penélope Cruz who comes close to stealing the show as Colombian psychologist Graciela, as she brings the much needed fun into the film with a character very much out of her depth in the espionage and action department. And lastly, the character of Marie – with Diane Kruger just bringing the bad-assery with her here every step of the way. She’s the character you love to hate, and then love again.

Again, while entertaining at times, and the bad-assery is quite on par, and ‘Girl Power’ definitely reigns supreme here, unfortunately the end result is a rather mish-mash affair that, while not really ever dull, never really feels all that fully exciting either.

Grade: C-

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Review Screener: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

“THE 355” is out in theaters Friday, January 7, 2022

8 thoughts on “REVIEW: “THE 355” (2022) Universal Pictures

  1. Nice review, I agree and gave it a 3 out of 5 on our site (we talk film) . I felt yes it was predictable and clichéd but I put that down to the writers and the directors vision being quite limited, the ladies of the 355 themselves were great! In terms of clichés, aren’t we being harder on them than on something like Bond, which opened to acclaim and was called incredible but no one remembers the plot, what the story was actually about, you had a villain with a scarred face trying to take over or destroy the world (who remembers) and a bad guy with one eye that Bond nicknames cyclops. It was full of clichés but its acceptable because its ‘Bond’

    • Hi!! thanks for following and finding this. I love your site and would love to follow back, but it’s not giving me the option! eeerrgghh! ha! I will find it. 🙂 As for this.. no, I don’t think I am being harder on them – are some? probably so. But I’ve been a Bond fan since I was a kid – one of the few franchises I’ve ever followed diligently throughout my life – and I remember the plot distinctly and while I’d like to forget Spectre and thought Christoph Waltz was a terrible villain, though he’s a great actor, Bond has definitely brought us some of the best villains ever!! I thought these women were amazing at what they did – and you are right, they just didn’t have the best material to work with. Though it still had some good points, overall it wasn’t because of them that the film didn’t work. While I LOVE Bond – and rarely is it truly bad – I didn’t hesitate to call out Spectre for what it was. I did enjoy No Time to Die quite a bit – Craig swan song was a good one and again, I can tell you the entire plot and I’ve only seen it once! 🙂 I love good, positive banter like this though as we all get to have an opinion and love good discussion. Thank you for following on twitter as well..I followed right back and I look forward to more of this in the future now! 🙂 yay! Happy 2022!!

      • If the ‘follow’ button is not easy to find on our site that’s my fault. I’ll have to knuckle down again and try to improve that (I’m open to suggestions if there is a simpler fix!)
        Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think ‘No Time to die’ was bad at all, I enjoyed it, but I ignored what I saw as cliches because ‘it was Bond’. I just wanted the 355 ladies to have the same chance to be fun and average with the chance to get better!
        Maybe it’s because I’m not the biggest Daniel Craig fan (which really p*sses me off because everyone loves him lol). I grew up with Sean and Roger, but my favourite is actually Pierce Brosnan. I think he had the suave of Connery, the cheekiness of Moore and the focus of Dalton. He may not have been as brutal as Daniel Craig in terms of combat but at least he wasn’t miserable all the time. I feel like Daniel Craig sucked all the joy out of the role, didn’t feel like it was cool to grow up and be Bond anymore, felt like Jason Bourne with bigger budget! lol But 25 films is enough, right?? even the MCU is struggling after 25 movies

      • Oh my.. we must be friends on the psychic friend connection!! hahahaah Because I am SUCH a PIerce Brosnan BOND fan. I love Connery & Moore.. just adore them. And then Pierce was supposed to step in and I was thrilled.. and then he didn’t because of Remmington Steele and it being such a hit of the time – they wouldn’t let him out of his contract. I could barely watch those Timothy Dalton ones – but then we got him.. FINALLY. yay! I wasn’t in love with the choice of Craig, especially at first – but I gotta say he pulled it off in Casino Royale & I started to warm up to him.
        And I completely understand what you are saying on The 355 – any Bond cliches are always probably going to be more overlooked by many because yes, it is Bond and that’s what they are. I always felt like Brosnan upped the game though..so very much. I think the difference for me with Bond & MCU is Bond comes out every 4-5 yrs or so..they don’t flood the box office with 482040284 films every single year. MCU was fun at first, now I’m just bored with it as it’s the same movie over & over. At least Bond while it has it’s cliches, also does stuff like kill off characters including Bond himself – plus he’s been around for what 50 yrs now? MCU.. not anywhere near as long but shoving it down our throats way too much. 🙂 I mean just my thoughts. ha! Now I gotta find your follow button.. usually it pops right up on a page in the right corner.. I will figure it out. We HAVE got to stay in touch. This is too much fun! 🙂

  2. I love that, ‘psychic friend connection’ reaching all the way from South London! Yeah, the MCU is a bit bloated, especially with the tv shows as well. I just crave new stuff, that amazing feeling, like the collective gasp in the cinema the first time Trinity jumped up and the camera panned round her at the start of the Matrix. There are a few ‘classics’ I wouldn’t mind being remade, just so a new generation can experience it. The Running Man, Back to the Future, Demolition Man. They’ll never be as good for me, but the young people might love the stories, it’s been over 30yrs

    • I would love to see a few like Soylent Green or Logan’s Run – I don’t think they should ever touch Back to the Future.. like EVER.. not with Michael J. Fox still alive & suffering so terribly as he is. Same with Demolition Man – I think it needs to be left alone as sometimes you shouldn’t mess with an original – just show it to the kids! 🙂

      • ahahahhahaha I haven’t even watched it yet because while I appreciate the original.. it was not my roll and the only thing i can remember from them all – which I don’t think I actually saw them all – is red pill/blue pill and them avoiding dozens of whizzing bullets. that’s all I got. I will watch it soon – but only because of Keanu. 🙂

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