The 355: More Like 3.5

The movie was named after Agent 355, a female spy in the Revolutionary War whose name is unknown.

The movie was named after Agent 355, a female spy in the Revolutionary War whose name is unknown.

Sophie Stringer, Staff Reporter

The 355, directed by Simon Kinberg, is an exhilarating, action-packed movie that was brought to theaters on January 7th. Starring Jessica Chastain, Penélope Cruz, Fan Bingbing, Diane Kruger, Lupita Nyong’o, and Sebastian Stan. The movie displays many themes including female empowerment, friendship, and good versus evil.

The story begins in Columbia where a very wealthy man who is usually in the business of dealing drugs instead negotiates the sale of a device, created by his son, with the ability to hack any piece of technology in the world. It is the doomsday device, with the potential to destroy the world. The deal predictably goes awry, with many groups trying to obtain the device for various questionable motives, and the device is soon taken into the possession of another man. This sets the stage for the rest of the film, during which the device continues to be passed along from one person to the next.

Fear not: there are heroes to save the day. Characters Mace, Kadijah, Marie, Graciela, Lin Mi, and Nick are all recruited to get this device to safety. Mace and Nick are the first characters that we meet. They are partners in the CIA whose mission is to acquire the device. Marie has the same instructions but works for the German BND. After a violent fight between Mace and Marie, which involves a metro and many close calls, the audience can easily determine that the two are not friends. After losing the device again, Mace recruits Kadijah, an old friend and expert in the cybersecurity field who does not want to be involved in the ordeal. Fortunately for Mace, Kadijah’s strong moral obligation encourages her to join the team. Graciela is also introduced as a therapist who is called in to help the man with the device.

After multiple twists of events, the women are all thrown in together, none of which seemingly happy with the situation. Graciela and Kadijah are grounded and want to go home to their families, while Mace and Marie despise one another and refuse to trust each other’s motives. Lin Mi is not introduced until the latter-half of the film, a manipulative but clever woman who becomes an integral addition to the team. A series of epic highs and lows keeps you on your toes, wondering if the good guys will really win. With contributions from all of the women on the team, combined with riveting monologues dedicated to friendship and slightly-too-long fight scenes, the protagonists save the day. In the end, the women part with little emotion, their relief at the ordeal’s ending overshadowing the bonds they created with one another. It is far from a happy ending, but the content atmosphere is a welcome change from the stereotypical joyful ending that most action movies display.

While the plot and script of this movie are neither unique nor thought-provoking, the movie is not bad. Contrastively, the movie is fun, requiring little to no thought for quality entertainment. The twists and turns of the movie are enjoyable and not incredibly predictable. It was also a wonderful change to see women of many different backgrounds star in an action movie. The female characters were complex, their complexity not dependent on their relationship with a male character. Overall, I would say that this movie is enjoyable to watch, with no overcomplicated deeper meaning to outshine the true purpose of the movie: a story with cool female characters. I give The 355 3.5 out of 5 shields.