The 355 Parent Guide
This is less a film than a collection of tropes taken hostage and displayed on the big screen.
Parent Movie Review
During a raid on the house of a Colombian cartel boss, an unscrupulous agent with Colombian intelligence (the DNI) makes an unexpected discovery: a drive containing a suite of super-powered hacking tools which enable the user to break into any closed network in the world, disrupting everything from city power grids to aircraft. The agent, Luis Rojas (Edgar Ramirez), sees it as an opportunity to buy a new life. Obviously, having such an item loose on the black market could be devastating, so the CIA dispatches maverick field agent Mason “Mace” Brown (Jessica Chastain) to recover it. In the course of the operation, Mace finds herself running up against (and occasionally, alongside) members of other national intelligence services: demolitions expert and lone wolf Marie Schmidt (Diane Kruger) with the German BND, Khadijah (Lupita Nyong’o), a tech expert with Britain’s MI6, Graciela (Penelope Cruz), a therapist with the Colombian DNI, and even Lin Mi Sheng (Fan Bingbing), an agent with the mysterious Chinese Ministry of State Security. Together, they might just stand a chance of recovering the device and preventing World War Three…if they can learn to work together.
I’ll start with the content issues, because if I don’t, I’m going to get sidetracked ranting about what a phenomenal waste of time this entire production is. The film features, as you might expect, the usual spy-thriller violence, specifically plenty of martial arts fights and more than a few shootings. I am particularly unenthused by the fact that so many of the people shot are unarmed hostages and prisoners. On the other hand, there’s remarkably little cussing and a single scene of implied sexual content with no nudity. The characters do spend a good amount of time drinking socially, but in fairness, I think most of the audience was fantasizing about getting good and sloshed about halfway through, so it makes sense that the characters do too.
As you might have gathered, this is not a top quality film. Despite a phenomenal cast, at no point was I invested in any of the crudely cut out pieces of cardboard the writers have substituted for characters. Moreover, the alleged “secret agents” spend much of the film running around public areas with guns out, shooting at fleeing suspects and making sure they get their faces on as many security cameras as possible. At one point the audience is treated to Jessica Chastain going incognito in Morocco in an outfit resembling a mashup of Belloq from Indiana Jones and Carmen Sandiego. It’s not an easy watch.
So, despite our group of fierce, independent gal pals having a gay old time bonding over…let me check my notes real quick…oh, yes, an unsanctioned international homicide spree, the audience is left struggling through wooden dialogue, non-stop clichés, and a truly stupid plot. This feels like someone shoved Tom Clancy, Ian Fleming, and the Spy Kids into a nuclear reactor and forced whatever they could dredge out of the bottom to write a female-focused thriller. As such, this is less a film and more a collection of tropes taken hostage and displayed in a semi-random order on a screen like a perverse ransom note. If the Frankenstein-like creators of this shambling assemblage of concepts masquerading as a movie wanted to get butts in seats, they probably should have considered making their creation somewhat watchable.Directed by Simon Kinberg. Starring Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong'o, Diane Kruger. Running time: 136 minutes. Theatrical release January 7, 2022. Updated January 8, 2022
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Rating & Content Info
Why is The 355 rated PG-13? The 355 is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for sequences of strong violence, brief strong language, and suggestive material.
Violence: People are repeatedly shot and killed, often unarmed individuals in brutal executions. There are frequent scenes of hand-to-hand combat. Several planes are deliberately crashed, resulting in massive civilian casualties off-screen. Several people are stabbed. A man is shot in the leg during an interrogation as a form of torture. A character is non-fatally poisoned.
Sexual Content: A couple are shown undressing and getting into bed together and are later shown partially nude in bed from the shoulders up.
Profanity: There are four uses of scatological profanity, one use of extreme profanity, and infrequent uses of mild curses and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are seen drinking alcohol in social situations. There are brief references to cocaine.
Page last updated January 8, 2022
The 355 Parents' Guide
What are some real-world threats to national cybersecurity? Which state actors are pursuing aggressive cyberattacks against other nations? To what end? What are some potential solutions to those dangers?
Homeland Security: Cybersecurity
Center for Strategic and International Studies: Significant Cyber Incidents
Related home video titles:
Jessica Chastain plays a much more realistic CIA officer in Zero Dark Thirty. Cybersecurity threats come up in Snowden. Other spy thrillers include The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Kingsman: The Secret Service, The Sum of All Fears, and James Bond films like Spectre or No Time To Die.