“When a top-secret weapon falls into mercenary hands, a wild card CIA agent joins forces with three international agents on a lethal mission to retrieve it, while staying a step ahead of a mysterious woman who’s tracking their every move.”

Director: Simon Kinberg
Writers: Simon Kinberg, Theresa Rebeck
Staring: Jessica Chastain, Penélope Cruz, Bingbang Fan, Diane Kruger, Sebastian Stan, Lupita Nyong’o
Release Date: January 7, 2022

The 355 is not the way you want to start out 2022. The first major motion picture of the calendar year is a boring action movie filled with underwhelming acting performances. The 355 is not worth watching, even if you are a sucker for a background noise action movie.

The start of the movie has Luis Rojas (Edgar Ramirez) ambushing some bad guys in a jungle setting. Rojas kills some bad guys and gets his hand on a technological device numerous people want. Eventually this top-secret weapon finds it way in the possession of mercenaries and Mace (Jessica Chastain) must gather forces with other women spies from across the globe in order to save the world for potential disaster.

On the team with Mace are German solo-enthusiast Marie Schmidt (Diane Kruger), tech genius Khadijah Adiyeme (Lupita Nyong’o), not-wanting-to-be-there Graciela Rivera (Penélope Cruz) and the late-arriving Lin Mi Sheng (Bingbing Fan). The five of them come together for one last final mission where they trick the bad guys, kick some ass, and ensure that all the innocent people in the world don’t have a thing to worry about.

The plot to this movie is not important. It is not hard to follow at all. It is as straight forward as they come. It is not The 355‘s biggest problem.

Some of the acting in this movie is truly terrible. I don’t know what Diane Kruger is doing, but her attempt at being a badass with a soft hard (maybe, kind of) does not come off well. She is the most physically imposing, but the tragic backstory with her father and then her over-acting when getting flustered is unappealing. Cruz plays a family women who is swept into this madness by sure chance, yet she never seems to be too shy about staying around when she has a chance to leave. Her character is told she is needed, but is she really? What consequence does she have in the movie besides arriving at just the right time.

The best acting in this movie is done by Lupita Nyong’o. At this stage of her career, should we really be surprised?

What is Jessica Chastain? What is her career plans? She is nominated for her third Oscar this year with The Eyes Of Tammy Faye (2021), but sandwiching that are movies like Ava (2020) and The 355. There are also small disappointments, like It: Chapter Two (2019) and Molly’s Game (2017), but also massive small wonders like A Most Violent Year (2014) and Lawless (2012). She is such an interesting case study. It can also be a massive box office like Interstellar (2014) or The Martian (2015), or a distaster box office failure like X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019). THIS CAREER PATH IS CRAZY!!!

Really, in all honestly, I don’t have much more to say about The 355. It is just not a good movie. The action is boring and the acting is bad. The story is standard and the payoff is strictly neutral grey. It is like watching a plain beige movie. There is nothing exciting about it, and nothing worth endorsing.

STANKO RATING: D (1.5/ Stars)

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