Imagine a device that could connect to anything and be powerful enough to begin World War III. But an exchange has gone wrong, and now this top-secret weapon, created to destroy the world, is in the hands of a dangerous mercenary. Now it’s up to a pair of agents, Mace (Jessica Chastain) & Nick (Sebastian Stan), to work together to retrieve the device during another exchange. Sadly for Mace, the retrieval mission and exchange is filled with surprises and failure.
On the run, Mace begins to seek help from those she can trust, including an ex-agent named Khadijah (Lupita Nyong’o). Khadijah is highly skilled with computers and can hack into any system required. But Mace soon learns that she and Khadijah are not the only ones trying to retrieve the device. The question is, are these people their enemy or perhaps someone they can trust in due time and work together? An unlikely team is formed to undertake a deadly mission and save the world.
As a plot, The 355 certainly feels familiar. A device that can destroy the world and a small team of talents coming together is nothing new. What makes the film different and enjoyable is the leading cast and their interactions. The leading characters are generally likeable, even more so as the team slowly forms throughout the film. The banter between team members reminds me of films such as Mission Impossible or even Oceans 8. There are moments where leads doubt each other, but we know it’s only a matter of time until they must come together and use their different skills.
While being familiar is not ideal, I found it more forgivable than other disappointing elements. The filming style is one of these elements. Handheld camera and unsteady shots are used to film basic character conversations, something that will constantly annoy viewers. By the second scene, I was already sick of it. Another element that disappointed me was the highly predictable plot, especially when it comes to major twists and turns. The twists and turns are so obvious that the reveal becomes more frustrating instead of surprising.
The film does include moments of action, but the action is extremely fast-paced in the style of Jason Bourne, which won’t be for everyone. As a result, the action can feel messy at times, and there were multiple moments where I honestly couldn’t work out what had just happened. Throughout the film, there are different kinds of action to match the setting and plot situation. Some action scenes have characters throwing fists and kicks, while others have lots of guns blazing. There are many scenes where we watch our leads follow another character around the streets, hoping for a possible exchange. These scenes are intended to be suspenseful and edgy, but, moments like these truly overstay their welcome, and some scenes drag on for too long. These scenes could have been quicker with the same result. It’s not a good feeling when you feel like your time is being wasted or key scenes have no real value or worth.
Overall, whilst I love watching a team of talented ladies save the world, and the leads are generally great, their interactions are the film’s best aspect. While the story being familiar is forgivable, the film is highly predictable, and twists are not shocking; they are frustrating. The action scenes are hard to watch, and simple discussions are done with shaky camera techniques, which are mind-boggling. Some scenes also overstay their welcome. In the end, there was so much potential from the cast alone, but there is much being wasted. Instead, the film becomes familiar and average rather than an outstanding feature film.