Finding terribly made but fun action thrillers that star mostly men as the central characters is not that hard. But there is one film trending on Netflix UK right now that ticks all the boxes and stars some of the most bombastic female talent.
The 355 has emerged as a refreshing exception in the male-dominated espionage thriller landscape, especially on Netflix. It’s at the fifth spot on the list of top ten films in the UK for two consecutive weeks at this point.
Directed by Simon Kinberg and penned by Theresa Rebeck and Kinberg, this all-women action spy thriller features an ensemble cast of powerhouse performers, including Jessica Chastain, Penélope Cruz, Fan Bingbing, Diane Kruger, and Lupita Nyong’o.
The film’s story revolves around a group of international spies who have to unite forces in a race against time to prevent a terrorist organisation from plunging the world into chaos and igniting World War III. The title, The 355, pays homage to Agent 355, a female spy during the American Revolution, so the film also manages to blend history with a contemporary tale of espionage.
The film is shot at several luxe international locations, which makes it even easier for the eyes. The story unfolds as the spies race to retrieve a decryption program drive capable of accessing any digital system on Earth, only to discover they’ve been framed for a crime.
Chastain spearheaded the project, pitching the idea while collaborating with Kinberg on Dark Phoenix. Speaking about how responsible she felt about the project, she told Collider about the time a stunt landed her in the hospital, “I had to really show up. I had to do everything. I didn’t want to let anyone down. And we were doing a fight scene and I was supposed to hit my head on the ground. It was a marble ground and I misjudged. I was in the moment, and I misjudged the distance, and I hit my head on the marble, and I heard a crack that everyone in the room heard.”
Chastain portrays CIA officer Mason ‘Mace’ Browne, Cruz is DNI agent Graciela Rivera, and Fan Bingbing plays MSS agent Lin Mi Sheng. Diane Kruger is German BND agent Marie Schmidt and Lupita Nyong’o plays retired MI6 operative Khadijah Adiyeme.
Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics and a lukewarm box office reception, it has gone to thrive where most box office duds go to thrive: Netflix. You can watch The 355 on Netflix and catch the trailer here: