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Review The 355 (2022): Very entertaining with a very likeable cast!

genre: action, thriller

The 355 has been met with a lot of hate and anger and while to an extent I do understand some of the criticisms I do think most of it is unfair. This film might not be a masterpiece, it certainly isn't as bad as most have you believe.

First of all the obvious elephant in the room. Feminist and woke propaganda. Another film where a group of females of different ethnicities who not only have replaced men but they are also superior at everything. While some of the main characters in the film surely are a little overpowered they definitely don't act or pretend to be superior. Most of the cast are trying to do their job the best they can and like male characters in similar films do get hurt. There isn't a single character who claim to be superior to men or belittle men in any way. Charlie's Angels (2019) is a good example of that happening which did detract from the viewing experience a bit. The 355 in that regard never does it. Actually it plays out like any cool spy flick except the main cast now consists of female characters. In Hong Kong they created a whole genre around this phenomenon called Girls with Guns and it is awesome. Beautiful, hot women kicking ass is fun to watch. Now that almost make this film a little sexist if it weren't for the incredible cast doing a real good job of selling you real characters. 

I must admit that when I saw the trailer I was a little sceptical. It did seem like the film was going to be very political and woke. But pretty soon the female cast and action sequences had won me over. Mind you it's not that high grade but more about this later. I did like how we got just enough background on the characters to make you root for them even if they seemed to be villainous. As the film progresses, you get to learn even more and see things from that perspective. I have to commend director Simon Kinberg for giving that kind of exposition while maintaining a fast pace. There are some drops and perhaps some unnecessary padding. I mean how many times does Penelope Cruz's character has to be in shambles because she is not cut out for it. It got a little old. Then again I couldn't get enough of her since she was as graceful and beautiful as ever. In hindsight while she seemed the weakest she always was the one asking the right questions, steering the others in the right direction. Actually each character came through for the team and must be one of the finest examples of what team work should be like.

Naturally, there is only so much one can do with espionage. Almost everything is predictable, still there are some nice little surprises to keep things fresh enough. The real surprise is the big action sequence in the finale. While the action is entertaining throughout the film it is never of a calibre where you are wowed. However in the finale there are the John Wickesque scenes I had been craving for since all those other films like Gunpowder Milkshake, The Protégé and Kate promised that but never seem to deliver it the way I was hoping. Compared to those, 355 actually blows them all away. So much so that I would like to see this film getting a sequel with the same cast. 

Overall, The 355 is a very entertaining action flick with a very likeable cast. The hate definitely is unfounded. So do give it a chance!

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