The ladies have to save the day in The 355, the latest from co-writer and director Simon Kinberg.
We all know this story. There’s a fancy new weapon that could take out the world, it falls into the wrong hands, an elite group of spies has to get it back. Cool, we got it, get on with the elaborate action set pieces. Yes, The 355 is that movie, but its twist is that it’s a group of female spies trying to save the day, hence the title referencing a real-life female spy from the American Revolution.
So yay, girl power action. Except I couldn’t help pumping the breaks when I saw Kinberg’s name. The man behind the train wreck that was X-Men: Dark Phoenix makes me wary of any supposedly female-centric storylines because he totally fumbled that in Dark Phoenix. He did get a writing partner in Smash creator and playwright Theresa Rebeck, though, so hopefully, she can make sure this stays on track.
At least in front of the camera, things look steady, with Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Diane Kruger, and Penélope Cruz playing the main spy team, with the latter drawing criticism for the casting of a Spanish actress as a Columbian character. Given that the film’s branding puts its cross-cultural team-up front and center, it’s right to scrutinize how this ideal is being imagined, but it’s also hard to deny how exciting it is to see these four women together. Their co-stars aren’t too shabby, either, with Sebastian Stan, Bingbing Fan, and Edgar Ramírez also appearing.
It appears that this spy film’s heart is in the right place, but there are enough alarm bells here to make me wary. Hopefully, my reservations are incorrect.
The 355 is directed by Simon Kinberg and stars Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Diane Kruger, and Penélope Cruz. It is currently scheduled for release in the US and the UK on January 15th, 2021. Keep up with its release schedule here.
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