The 355 (Blu-ray)

February 22, 2022 7 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

My guess is that the action-adventure-spy-thriller genre will never go away. It can’t. Hollywood needs it. And it’s been relying on it for quite some time. Looking at the James Bond franchise alone, they’re mostly all the same movie. But here we are over half a century later watching and waiting on the next one to thrill us once again. Director Simon Kinberg took a different approach with The 355. The difference being that the cast is all female. That’s not meant to sound like “Oh my God, how can five women carry a film?” It’s more along the lines of “Well, this is something you don’t see very often…” And in case anyone was wondering (it’s not explained in the film), the title refers to “Agent 355” which was the codename of an unidentified female spy who fought for the Patriots during the American Revolution. See? You learned something about history. Kidding aside, let’s get to it.

We learn of the driving force (aka “a MacGuffin”) in which a particular device can allow anyone to hack into any computer network in the world. That’s quite powerful. Agent Mason Browne (Jessica Chastain) and her partner Nick (Sebastian Stan) are assigned to retrieve it before it falls into the wrong hands. But Mason realizes that she’s going to have to align with some other agents to achieve this goal. One is Marie (Diane Kruger), an English cyber-intelligence agent (Lupita Nyong’o) and a psychologist from Spain (Penelope Cruz). There’s another one as well (just look at the cover), but let’s avoid spoilers. The gang galavants across the globe in search of this device with plenty of double-crosses along the way. This, of course, begs the question – will they accomplish their mission and save the world?

As a spy thriller, this one checks all the boxes. And it’s not a bad film, I enjoyed seeing Jessica Chastain prance around in skin tight turtlenecks and I’ve always found Diane Kruger to be one of the most beautiful women in the world. So there was that as well. Essentially this could be any James Bond or Jason Bourne film and it’d work. Fans of the city of Paris might want to pay particular attention as well if for no other reason than…seeing Paris. As of this writing, I’ve got the disc in hands 6 weeks after this was released in theaters. That’s not necessarily a good thing, particularly if we’re looking forward to The 355 – Part 2.

Video: How’s it look?

The movie will have you think that it took place all around the world (the city overlays had me confused since there were so many), and in all truth – they’re right. That aside, this does look the part and given the film’s ample budget, it should. But it’s far from perfect. Of course, every scene has at least one of our stars in it and they all look, as expected, glamourous. Detail is top notch, black levels are on the mark and I didn’t exactly have a lot to complain about, but I also felt it could have looked a bit better. It’s, as expected, a great-looking release from Universal.

Audio: How’s it sound?

This one checks all the boxes with gunfire, things blowing up and countless action sequences and the DTS HD Master Audio mix do a fine job of conveying all of that action to our home theaters. At any rate, that’s what we have and while it sounds good, I’ve heard others that would put this to shame. Still, there was ample use of the surrounds and LFE. I found the vocals to be sharp and crisp. Truthfully, this isn’t really one you watch for the technical merits, but it’s nice to have a good-sounding mix to back it up.

Supplements: What are the extras?

  • Deleted Scenes – Technically there are two, one runs about 5:45 with the second being more of an afterthought. As one would imagine – neither added much to the final product.
  • Chasing Through Paris – Cast and filmmakers discuss the first day of shooting on THE 355 and how the choreographed chase sequence through the Parisian arcade set the tone for the entire production.
  • Action That Hurts – A behind-the-scenes look at the stunts featured in the film’s centerpiece action sequence.
  • Reconstructing Marrakesh – From footage of construction to a set tour with Production Designer Simon Elliott, we’ll come to understand why the cast was so blown away by the accuracy of the Moroccan set.
  • Chaos at the City of Dreams – Cast and filmmakers deconstruct the film’s final set piece, from exploding ceilings to major shoot-outs, to the ultimate show-down fight between Jessica Chastian’s and Sebastian Stan’s characters.
  • VFX Breakdowns

The Bottom Line

The 355 is a perfectly serviceable action movie. It’s hook is that it’s led by an all-female cast. So if that’s your thing, then you’re in for a treat. If not, it’s not like there aren’t hundreds of other action movies led by men. Universal’s disc looks and sounds great with a smattering of extras that might tip the scales if you’re so inclined to make this a part of your collection.

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