March 13, 2024

THE 355 (4K): "Weren't We Gonna See That Once?"

THE 355 (4K UHD)
2022 / 124 min
Available at
Review by Mr. Bonnie😽

I vaguely recall seeing the trailer for The 355 when it was first released. It was my wife who fleetingly mentioned, “That might be fun,” to which I nodded in agreement. Every now and then, we enjoy taking-in a big, loud action flick at the movies. But we never got around to it, either because we were too busy or the movie came and went so fast in theaters that we simply forgot about it.

Sometime later, when the wife and I were browsing through Netflix or Prime, The 355 popped up. “Hey, weren't we gonna see that once?” she said. “That might be fun some night.” I nodded in agreement and stuck it on my watchlist because sometimes it’s great just to vedge on the sofa with a movie that doesn’t require a lot of brain power. But again, I never got around to it, probably because I generally spend more time looking for something on Netflix than actually watching something on Netflix. With the billion other things I had on my watchlist, I guess it just got lost in the shuffle (if it’s even there anymore).

When it arrived on 4K for review, I said to my wife, “The 355…didn’t you want to see that ?” She shrugged indifferently, either because she forgot or was no longer interested. At any rate, I was flying solo for this one, and after watching it with the lights down and the volume cranked, it’s exactly the movie I thought it would be. The 355 is a big, loud actionfest that seldom engages the brain, and unless you’ve never seen a single 21st Century action movie, offers no surprises whatsoever.

"You rode shotgun last time. My turn."
Which isn’t necessarily intended as criticism. Like going to McDonald’s, sometimes you just want simple comfort food. And it doesn’t get much simpler than four international agents (and another forced to go along for the ride) chasing down a MacGuffin around the globe while clashing with a gaggle of ruthless bad guys. In this case, it’s five women who must overcome their initial distrust to team up for a common goal. The MacGuffin is a hard-drive that can take control of any digital system. As for the ruthless bad guys…well, there's a ton of ‘em. Some we meet in the first scene, others are later revealed as bad guys in a shocking plot twist (though it won’t come as much of a shock).

With a frenetic pace and action sequences that tend to gloss over most of the story implausibilities, it’s fun watching these women trot the globe and kick-ass. There’s a plethora of bullets, bombs, brawls and broken glass, all of it well shot and choreographed. An impressive ensemble cast of leading ladies (Jessica Chastain, Diane Kruger, Penelope Cruz, Lupita Nyong’o, Bingbing Fan) make the main characters more interesting than the screenplay actually does. The even bigger batch of antagonists are strictly standard-issue, though Sebastian Stan appears to be enjoying himself as a double-crossing CIA agent.

Both narratively and technically, there isn’t a single aspect of The 355 that's particularly original, complex or all that memorable. But hey, it’s certainly fun in the moment and seldom boring. If the wife ever does decide to finally watch it, I might be up for another round. The film bombed in theaters and was quickly forgotten, so I don’t know how many were pining for a 4K upgrade, but it looks and sounds terrific (as does the accompanying Blu-ray).



FEATURETTES (all carried over from the original Blu-ray) - Chasing Through Paris; Action That Hurts; Reconstructing Marrakesh; Chaos at the City of Dreams; VFX Breakdown. These featurettes run around 5 minutes each and are mostly focused on locations and technical aspects of the film.


No comments: