Miraculously smaller than the sum of its parts, The 355 is a patchwork quilt of frenetic action sequences, bound together with a largely nonsensical plot.
Clearly this glossy romp is meant to ape Bond and Bourne. A protracted setup involves the sale of some sort of ultra-technical macguffin that allows the user to hack any connected device, and crash planes and computer systems at whim. Scowling villain Jason Flemyng is super impressed and tries to obtain it, repeatedly. There’s quite a lot of running around, but no one seems to get anywhere.
Jessica Chastain plays Mace, a CIA operative sent to retrieve the nefarious tech, along with her agency partner Nick (Sebastian Stan), but comes a cropper when he switches sides. She duly partners with other female agents from rival secret services, also on the case, to complete her mission and kick his ass.
Directed and co-written by Simon Kinberg, based on a story by Theresa Rebeck, and produced by Jessica Chastain, the movie looks well-funded, and boasts some splendid location photography (France, Morocco, Shanghai), courtesy of DoP Tim Maurice-Jones.
The always listenable Tom Holkenberg delivers a fast-paced score, and tech credits overall are high.
The action choreography is similarly accomplished and the ensemble cast, comprising Lupita Nyong’o (as Khadijar), Penélope Cruz (Graciela), Bingbing Fan (Lin Mi Shen) and Diane Kruger (Marie Schmidt) are nothing if not committed.
There’s quite a lot of running around, but no one seems to get anywhere…
But as a female orientated actioner it lacks the wit of Gunpowder Milkshake, the slick invention of Black Widow, and the sheer violent physicality of Kate.
The movie rallies in its final act, with a drawn out slobberknocker in a luxury hotel, featuring energetic gunplay and eye-catching martial arts.
Three quarters of the way through I began to wonder why The 355 was so-called. There’s no real attempt to explain it, bar some throwaway dialogue in the final reel. Then I wondered what they might call a sequel – The 3552? Maybe The 356?
To be fair, it’s not a problem I think they’ll need to address.
The 355 is directed by Simon Kinberg, and stars Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Penélope Cruz, Bingbing Fan and Diane Kruger. Rated 12A, 123 mins.
The 355 cocktail guide
The multimedia premiere of The 355 was enlivened by some excellent themed cocktails, served by Spin and Shake, presented here for your delight and delectation…
Vodka, Tia Maria, Expresso, Sugar Syrup, garnished with a trio of coffee beans
Garden of Khadijah
Gin, Elderflower cordial, apple juice, lime juice, soda water, garnished with fresh mint
Tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, soda water
Vanilla syrup, lime juice, passion fruit puree, pineapple juice, garnished with fresh passion fruit
The Lin Mi Royal
Raspberry Liqueur, prosecco, raspberries and an edible flower garnish
Disney’s Olivier Award-winning Beauty and the Beast stage musical is heading to London, as part of its 2022 UK tour. Performances will begin at the Palladium June 24, running until September 17 2022. Re-imagined and re-designed, this new stage production promises state-of-the-art technology and boasts new dance arrangements by David Chase, including an all newContinue Reading
Heineken 0.0 non-alcoholic beer is heading to your local in 2022. Made with the same ingredients as its 5% ABV Heineken Original, 0.0 Draught looks set to be the first alcohol free draught beer to sit alongside regular beer taps in pubs, utilising the existing cellar set up. Heineken says its 0.0 Draught will beContinue Reading
Salon Privé London 2022: Premier luxury car show comes to London this Spring for the most glamorous party of the year
One of the world’s leading international car events, Salon Privé, is set to make its London debut this year – and it promises an uber-luxe London garden party not to be missed. While the high-end jewel in the UK’s automotive calendar, Salon Privé’s flagship Concours d’Elégance, will continue to hold its summer social with itsContinue Reading