In Theaters

The 355 - Blu-ray Review

The 355

Wasted talent. That’s the most economical way to sum up The 355, a female-led globetrotting espionage action thriller that finds its multi-racial cast of Hollywood A-listers muddling through a script so lazily written it gives generic a bad name.

Then again, that’s January’s purpose, right? As a convenient dumping ground to offload the industry’s stinkers and misfires, hoping the lack of competition might attract an audience. That tactic certainly doesn’t disappoint as the only thing faster than a front-leg roundhouse kick to the temple is how quickly this clunker will be forgotten.

"the only thing faster than a front-leg roundhouse kick to the temple is how quickly this clunker will be forgotten"


Starring Jessica Chastain, Penelope Cruz, Lupita Nyong’o, and Diane Kruger as a patchwork quartet of intelligence operatives who find themselves skipping across the globe in search of a digital doomsday device, The 355 strives to define itself as a progressive version of the Mission: Impossible or Bourne Identity films. But with women as the ass-kicking heroes. Though we need more of those right now, this one sadly fails to carry the weight of any film in those two franchises, and is never as fun as any of the Charlie’s Angel’s films.

The doomsday device is some sort of digital gizmo – that looks eerily similar to an old Blackberry PDA I carried around with me back in the day – capable of downing planes in mid air, crashing the stock market, and blowing up buildings by somehow disrupting digital communications across the world. And wouldn’t you know it, the device is in the hands of a bad guy who wants to sell it to the highest bidder. Why are highest bidders always bad guys?

On the side of the good guys looking for the device are the CIA, MI6, BND, and NIC, which brings characters played by Chastain, Cruz, Nyong’o and Kruger in on the action as they chase the villains, including a double agent, across the globe from Morocco to Shanghai and who remembers where else. The 355 also stars BingBing Fan, Sebastian Stan, John Douglas Thompson, Jason Fleming, and Edgar Ramirez.as additional bad guys, good guys, government agents, and various lookers-on.The 355

Though similar plots have been successfully featured in countless films for decades, even the stellar cast isn’t enough to save The 355 from its lifeless string of fighting, shooting, escaping, wound healing, and doing it all again. The lack of chemistry amongst the leads is astonishing, considering the two Oscar wins and one nomination amongst them. In addition – is it really that difficult to hit a target with a fully automatic machine gun. Jeez, Louise!

Speaking of fighting, there’s a lot of it. Well choreographed but poorly shot, it’s actually pretty exciting to watch Chastain go all whirling dervish on her adversaries, but director Simon Kinberg's over-abundance of jump cuts and shaky cam footage is just too annoying to sit through.

As for the positives, there are a handful of sequences that work. Among other things, most of the stunts – including some impressive high-wire work inside a construction zone, as well as the multi-cultural aspects of the characters and setting benefit the film adequately. Lending a much-appreciated genuineness, many languages are spoken throughout with subtitles, and the various cultures around the world appear to be represented fairly. A few twists and turns are much welcomed delights and one scene featuring a bad guy doing villain things to our heroes’ families is actually quite effective.

But it’s not enough. At more than two hours long, and with so many logistical flaws, emotional misses, and really, a missed purpose, The 355 blows its cover.

1/5 stars

 

The 355

Blu-ray Details

Home Video Distributor: Universal
Available on Blu-ray
- February 22, 2022
Screen Formats: 2.39:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, Spanish
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set; DVD copy
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

It's good to see that Universal didn't totally screw the pooch on the blu-ray + DVD + Digital Code release of this stinker. We get a spectacular 1080p transfer that is remarkably clean, clear, and crisp in addition to an English and a French language DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track that absolutely soars. Both discs are housed in a nice little cardboard-sleeved eco-case.

Video

Now, this is how you do it. This 1080p transfer is absolutely stunning. Though it won't push this one up to a recommended buy, it very well could be one that you pop in the player to wow your friends and family. The visuals are that spectacular.

Audio

Not to be outdone is the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track that is guaranteed to rock the house with percussive explosions that shake the foundation and machine gun fire that tracks across the room as it rattles the room. Vocals are always audible and do a nice job of working across the from of the room.

Supplements:

Commentary:

Special Features:

In addition to the film, inside are about 30 minutes worth of EPK-type extra features that cover the action sequences, stunt work, some behind-the-scenes footage, and a couple of deleted scenes.

Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 1/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 5/5 stars
  Extras 3/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

3.5/5 stars

 

Film Details

The 355

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of strong violence, brief strong language, and suggestive material..
Runtime:
122 mins
Director
: Simon Kinberg
Writer:
Theresa Rebeck; Simon Kinberg
Cast:
Jessica Chastain; Penélope Cruz; Bingbing Fan
Genre
: Thriller | Action
Tagline:
Work together or die alone.
Memorable Movie Quote:
Theatrical Distributor:
Universal Pictures
Official Site: https://www.the355movie.com/
Release Date:
January 14, 2022
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: When a top-secret weapon falls into mercenary hands, a wild card CIA agent joins forces with three international agents on a lethal mission to retrieve it, while staying a step ahead of a mysterious woman who's tracking their every move.

Art

The 355

 

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