The 355 is what happens when a filmmaker comes up with a gimmicky premise and then decides to fill in the plot points during filming. And probably the film credits that the movie was directed and co-written by Simon Kinberg may be an indication that you’re not in for a great movie.
Kinberg who killed what legacy was left in the X-Men franchise with Dark Phoenix helms this movie which probably was intended to be released in 2021 with all the other badass women movies such as Kate, Gunpowder Milkshake and Jolt to name a few. Even Alexis Louder facing down Gerard Butler and Frank Grillo in Copshop is better than this movie, which is so over the place.
One walking in can’t seem to draw similarities with Fox Force Five, the fictional pilot episode mentioned in Pulp Fiction that some say Quentin Tarantino decided to make into the Kill Bill movies. Except QT would’ve made the movie worth watching and better to review. This movie tries so hard to be a spy espionage action movie that it comes up short. I also think it was intended to be rated R before some changes were made in hopes of getting a wider audiences to watch it more so they toned down the violence.
Jessica Chastain plays CIA officer Mason “Mace” Browne who is ordered to go to Paris with her former colleague and fellow officer, Nick Fowler (Sebastian Stan) to handle an interaction with DNI agent Luis Rojas (Edgar Ramirez) for a hard drive MacGuffin that can pretty much dismantle any and all of the electronics and Internet access on Earth. But things go wrong when German BND agent Marie Schmidt (Diane Kruger) steals the money bag and Mace chases her through Paris and Nick chases Luis.
Mace loses Marie on a subway train and is told that Luis killed Nick. But Luis contacts DNI agent Graciela Rivera whose also a psychologist about giving her the hard drive. It must be noted by Graciela has no actual field experience and has a husband and son. So, why give it to her? I don’t know. Mace is told Nick is dead, killed by Luis, which means this is not correct. Why? Because the agent who is presumed dead but we know is actually alive and actually the bad guy is a trope used here.
Whoops! Did I just spoil it? It’s quite obvious. Anyway, Mace tracks down former MI6 agent Khadijah Adiyeme (Lupita Nyong’o) who just happens to be the information technology wizard to handle the hard drive. And soon Marie and Graciela are working together and they meet up with Mace and Khadijah who eventually decide they need to work altogether. Then they get the hard drive and turn it over to Mace supervisor who is later killed by an MSS agent Lin Mi Sheng (Fan Bingbing) because Mace’s supervisor and Nick were the real bad guys. Oh and Jason Flemyng pops up as a powerful crime lord in a role that seems like it should’ve been bigger.
As Clark Griswold yelled, “Holy shit! Where’s the Tylenol?!”
For those who thought the plot to the first Mission: Impossible movie was hard to understand, this one is a dilly of a pickle in the plot department. If you’re going to cast all these five actresses together as team of international spies and agents, give them something more than the tired “There’s computer software that can blah-blah-blah so we need to stop it before blah-blah-blah, but these guys are not really the bad guys and blah-blah-blah”
This is a tired plot. It’s 2022 and we need something better. If the Mission: Impossible movies seem to get better with each installment, surely this movie, which so badly wants to be a franchise could’ve had a better story to get the ball rolling. There’s some nice charisma between all five actresses despite some of the cliched tropes. They deserved a better movie.
The fact this movie was dumped into theaters the around the first of January tells you a lot. Universal Studios just wanted to burn it off. Even watching it on Peacock, as I did, I felt like I could’ve spent a better two hours of my time.
What do you think? Please comment.