the 355

the 355 is the epitome of a popcorn movie. The cast alone, which includes Jessica Chastain, Diane Kruger, Lupita Nyong’o, Penélope Cruz and Bingbing Fan, is enough to captivate an audience. Add to that action scenes where the weapon of choice is a spiked heel to the head, and it’s easy to reel in viewers. And that’s what Simon Kinberg’s the 355 wants, bringing his audience to the surface where badass women beating bad guys around the world is entertaining, and there’s no such thing as anything deeper than that. Take, for example, the wafer-thin premise that a hard drive could somehow destroy all of humanity, requiring women, who otherwise wouldn’t work together, to join forces. Their motivation, of course, is to save the world. After all, they’re the good ones. This simplistic approach, forcing a bad/ethical binary, combined with a ham-fisted dialogue, flattens the film and makes the silences between fight scenes feel more like retribution than respite. The result is a spy movie made to stream while you scroll on your phone or surf the web. PG-13, 122 minutes.

Wide release in theaters.

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