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THE 355 ๐Ÿคฎ

You can almost hear the paychecks being cashed.

PREMISE

A wild card CIA agent joins forces with three international agents on a lethal mission to retrieve a top-secret cyberweapon.

THE GOOD STUFF…..

Hmmm……
Let me see here……
Is there ANYTHING?????

THE PERFORMANCES (I GUESS) – Um…. the performances are as good as they possibly can be. If there is any good to take away from this, it’s that I am assured that Lupita Nyongo, Jessica Chastain, Penelope Cruz, and Diane Kruger are four of the very best actresses in the game. They take what I can only describe as ODIOUS dialogue in what I can only describe as an EXECRABLE storyline andย seem to inexplicably try to put some soul into these performances. I can’t even really single anybody out individually because they all have their moments of laughable terribleness, as well as at least one scene that is soulfully done.

THE BAD STUFF

Yeah, we’re just going to skip this part of the review. Usually this is reserved for things that have redeemable qualities but fall a TWEE bit short of good. And the things that fall in this movie fall short a LOT more than a twee bit.

THE UGLY STUFF

THE PLETHORA OF CLICHES- The only basis on which I would recommend this movie is under the guise of having a drinking game associated with all the cliches that LITTER this movie from beginning to end. Take a sip of beer every time somebody mentions a government agency, every time they switch countries for no reason, every time the music in the action sequence is way too loud, and every time the characters say that they do not trust each other.

But just take a sip of beer. If you take actual shots, you may die of alcohol poisoning by the end of the film.

JESSICA CHASTAIN’S FIGHT SCENES- What in the actual f*** was this? I don’t feel that it’s spoiling anything to tell you that the only two women in this cast that have hand-to-hand combat sequences at length are Diane Kruger and Jessica Chastain, and for some reason, there was a decision to do some…. SUPER degenerate bull**** camera work with every single fight scene that Jessica Chastain had.

Not only is the action slow as molasses to the point where it looks like a choreographed dance rather than an actual fight, not only can Jessica Chastain NOT throw a realistic-looking punch to save her life, but for some f****** reason, this camera is shaking the whole time. Not like in a Jason Bourne movie (although that’s clearly what they were going for) but almost like the camera was in a paint shaker. I couldn’t help but to automatically respect people who’ve done this shaky-cam thing correctly, even though I’m ardently not a fan of the gimmick itself.

THE PG-13-IEST TYPE OF VIOLENCE- There really needs to be an appreciation for the art form of PG-13 action sequences. It’s so easy to do when you’re in a superhero movie because blood isn’t necessarily expected to occur a lot of the time. But when you’re dealing with a government spy movie, your story will deal with a lot more naturalistic action sequences and situations.

THE 355 has to cut away from stabbings, headshots, bodies being riddled with bullets, and even certain aspects of hand-to-hand fight sequences. Had this been R-rated, it simply would have been better because you don’t have all the camera cutting going on.

And there are waaaaaaaaaaaaay too many camera cuts to care about any of the action going on.

FAN BINGBING- I don’t know much about Bingbing, and given how she’s only in this film from the end of the second act onward, I’m not really even going to talk about the performance all that much given how none of these actresses have been given better material than anyone else. But I got a single out Bingbing for one particular reason….

Except for maybe three total scenes, she is undoubtedly green-screened into this movie.

They do the camera trick where you see the back of her character’s head or the side of her character’s face to imply that she’s present with the other actresses in this movie, and then they’ll cut to her close up. AND YOU CAN CLEARLY SEE F****** MATTE LINES AROUND HER FIGURE.

Around the 5th f****** time that this actually happened, I had to stop and recall everything that I had consumed throughout the day to make sure that I wasn’t intoxicated in any way.

This is a movie with a $40 million budget, and for some reason, this film decided to insult my intelligence by clearly putting a woman in a red dress against a dark background LIKE I WOULDN’T NOTICE THE MOTHERF****** MATTE LINES FAM?

**************

Ultimately, I went in with a sense of hope. There are movies like this that tend to overachieve. Female-driven action films like THE VILLAINESS (2017), THE RHYTHM SECTION, and THE OLD GUARD (Both 2020) are recent entries into this foray of female lead action flicks that are vastly superior.

Go watch those. Don’t do what I did. Be better than me, and don’t watch this. EVER. 

THE 355 is playing in theaters now….for some reason.

Eli Brumfield

Eli Brumfield in an actor/screenwriter from Seattle Washington, living in Los Angeles.
He is the host of the RV8 Podcast.

He hates the word cinefile, but considering how many films he consumes in a week...and how many films he goes out of his way to see, no matter the genre...he kinda seems to be one.

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