Strong cast, plot is lacking

By Andrew McManus - Contributing Columnist

We DO NOT have a sequel, prequel, or reboot this week!!!! I know I am shocked as well. Unfortunately, there were no “new” releases this week, but this film came out the first week of January. I didn’t know much about this movie but the title did intrigue me. As I do love all things history I did read about the “355” and the truth behind it.

Historically “Agent 355” was the code name for one of the first female spies in American History. The identity of this person was/is unknown but it was during the American Revolution and she was part of the Culper Ring. I highly encourage you to read more on this story….on another note. Can we get a movie about her??? It’s no secret the last few weeks have been rather lackluster in terms of what we’ve watched. I know GREAT films are on the horizon, but I hope for my co-pilot’s sake this one is better than the last few. Would we get another subpar film or MAYBE we break 3 stars???

Onto the film.

We open in Bogotá, Colombia and see what looks like a sting operation on a mansion….a drug bust? There is one member of the military crew and he or she has their face covered up. The camera lingers on them. Obviously, this person will be of importance. We then see the criminal masterminds inside the mansion and realize this isn’t a drug deal or bust, but a

new piece of technology that can control ALL other technology. A bit far fetched, but we see the hacker take down a plane and kill power to all of Bogotá. This is the real deal, and many people want it. A shoot out takes place, but it is generic and cookie-cutter like we’ve seen so many times. We then see the man in the mask. His name is Luis Rojas (Ramírez) who makes off with the device and now wants to broker a deal.

We then cut to the States, and meet our lead heroine Mason “Mace” Brown (Chastain) who works for the CIA and is partnered up with her “best friend” Nick Fowler (Stan…the Winter Solder from the Marvel films.) Nick is in love with her but she puts him in the friend zone immediately, then things change….They are tasked with retrieving the device and paying the ransom of 3 million dollars to Rojas (Ramírez) A small fee for such a powerful device.

Obviously, things do go as planned. We see another agent with the BND (German agency) botch their drop off and chaos ensues. You think that the BND agent Marie Schmidt (Kruger) is a villain but without giving more of the story we see a team up of different agencies (CIA, MI6, DNI, MSS, and BND) trying to track down this device and save the world.

Here is what works….THE CAST. I was pleasantly surprised by each character and the team that is created. Each woman adds a different layer to the “355” group and I thought the casting was immaculate. Even the villains work. Surprisingly. The action sequences all have a nice pace to them and keep you on the edge of your seat and the set pieces were beautiful. It seems the film was filmed on location so the countries you see are not green screen (for the most part.) So do we have a 4 or 5 star film??? No

As strong as the cast is, the plot is lacking. They attempt to track down and lose the “holy grail” device countless times. It feels this is so the team can just go to another country. There are twists and turns, but some I feel you were expecting. (I’m told I just guess movies from Bethany…maybe) The ending seems to drag and doesn’t know how to end which made it a tad awkward but the cast and action scenes truly do work. You can do much worse with two hours at the cinema. Check it out and check it out on the BIG SCREEN! Maybe we climb past 3 stars next week…..3 stars out of 5

By Andrew McManus

Contributing Columnist