The 355 review – Jessica Chastain and her spy gang just don’t add up

The combined might of Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Diane Kruger and Penélope Cruz can’t enliven this lumbering action thriller

Diane Kruger slapping Jessica Chastain across the face with a frozen fish should be funny. The scene, sadly not played for laughs, is one of many wasted opportunities in this lacklustre action thriller. Chastain’s Mace and Kruger’s Marie, along with Khadijah (Lupita Nyong’o) and Graciela (Penélope Cruz), are international spies who team up to retrieve a “deadly cybertool” that’s fallen into the wrong hands.

Simon Kinberg’s film feels aggressively focus-grouped for the girl-boss crowd. “James Bond never had to deal with real life,” says mother-of-two Graciela with an eye roll. Winking dialogue about how women have been erased from history is similarly crowbarred in. Kruger smoulders as a German goth with daddy issues, and the only agent with any sort of swagger; Nyong’o, resplendent in a sweater vest, plays a tech specialist. Cruz is as luminous as ever, despite the fact that her role is mostly limited to crying and holding the phone. “We need another round… or like 10!” jokes Mace. Not even a post-mission pint in Morocco can liven up the gang’s tepid chemistry.

Watch a trailer for The 355.


Simran Hans

The GuardianTramp

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