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  • Writer's pictureGareth Bradwick

The 355 ★★

Simon Kinberg

Starring Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong'o, Penélope Cruz, Diane Kruger, Sebastian Stan

A whole host of top actors star in this straight-to-late-night-BBC One thriller that sees top female agents trying to stop a deadly weapon getting in to the wrong hands. It really does have some great talent in the cast too, with Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o and Penélope Cruz as a start. With the cast and the prospect of some fun escapism, this should be an easy recommendation of a trip to the cinema right?

No, not really. There is a certain level of cheese you can accept and relish with an action movie like this. It’s important though that the film doesn’t take itself too seriously so that we can all enjoy the over-the-top nature of proceedings. The main problem is that The 355 takes itself far too seriously, especially as it gets towards the final act. It may be that the importance of a fully female lead cast got the better of the script, who knows. But even the ridiculous elements of the plot don’t give the audience the wink and the nod that would lighten everything up a little.

Having said that, the cast do a great job with what they were given. Penélope Cruz and Sebastian Stan were the highlights but it’s a shame they weren’t quite given the script they deserved.

The main jarring element though was how many male characters were front and centre. For a blockbuster that’s exciting in its representation, it would have made more sense for the entire main and supporting cast to be female. As it stands we still have the typical misogynistic bad guy which makes this look like a “girl power” picture rather than trying to normalise female stories.

Although this definitely has some entertaining and surprising elements, if you do see this on your TV planner or streamer any time soon, you won’t be missing anything if you avoid it.

The 355 available in select cinemas now

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