The 355 is modern commercialism. It has little to say and is painfully generic, but it plays up its female-centric cast, hoping to make up for its thin substance. Diverse representation is a positive, but when it’s solely a marketing gimmick for an underwhelming project, it’s tainted. In fact, The 355 is fairly insulting because female led movies often get these poor efforts. Specifically, the film is a collection of cliches. Stock characters, predictable heel turns, unrealistic MacGuffins, exaggerated stakes, and some deus ex machina for good measure. Plus, the acting is bland (outside of Nyong’o, who brings legitimate emotion).
Technically, the camerawork is excessively shaky and the editing is overcut, fruitlessly compensating for dull action. The production design is uninspired and limited. The audio design is involved but sometimes misuses action sounds. The music is forgettable and the effects are overly sanitized. Lastly, the direction lacks unity, creating a mundane and inconsistent experience. None of this is necessarily terrible, but The 355 just isn’t great. Overall, it feels like a halfhearted ploy that capitalizes on good-natured people who want to support minority empowerment. Unfortunately for those viewers, The 355 does very little for the female cause.
Writing: 4/10 Direction: 4/10 Cinematography: 5/10 Acting: 6/10 Editing: 5/10 Sound: 6/10 Score/Soundtrack: 5/10 Production Design: 4/10 Casting: 7/10 Effects: 6/10
Overall Score: 5.2/10.
Review by guskeller