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Film / The 355

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"I'm putting together a team, and you're the best in the world at what you do."
"Remember the story that they told us about in training? About Washington's first female spy during the revolution. Agent 355, they called her. Because nobody knew her real name. Well, somebody did. They just didn't want the world to know it. But her legacy lives on."
Mason "Mace" Browne

The 355 is a 2022 action spy film starring Diane Kruger, PenÚlope Cruz, Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong'o, and Fan Bingbing and directed by Simon Kinberg (Dark Phoenix). Produced by FilmNation Entertainment, the film was released on January 7, 2021 in the US and the UK/Ireland by Universal Pictures with international releases following after.note 

A top-secret weapon has fallen into the hands of a terrorist organization that is planning on starting World War III. The only one who can stop them and retrieve the weapon is a wild card CIA agent named Mason "Mace" Browne (Chastain), who must join forces with three other female agents: German agent Marie (Kruger), MI6 computer specialist Khadijah (Nyong'o), and Colombian psychologist Graciela (Cruz), while also staying ahead of a mysterious woman, Lin Mi Sheng (Fan), who is tracking their every move.

Previews: Trailer 1, Trailer 2.

The 355 contains examples of:

  • Action Survivor: Graciela isn't a spy like the other women; she's just a psychologist who happens to work for an intelligence agency. She panics when there's danger, is initially nervous handling a gun, and continually asks to go home. Nonetheless, she manages to step up to the plate when the time calls for it.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Mace refers to Khadijah as "Dij" while Marie calls Graciela "Graci". Mace herself is always addressed as such, with almost no mention of her real name "Mason".
  • Amazon Brigade: The main protagonists are a group of women who use their combined skills to stop terrorists from getting their hands on a powerful weapon. Mace, Marie, Khadijah, and Mi Sheng are proficient with both firearms and hand-to-hand combat and their teamwork is best demonstrated during the final shoot-out. Graciela is the only one without prior combat experience, but she still manages to shoot Nick.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: In their first meeting, Mace addresses Marie by her name.
    Marie: How'd you know my name?
    Mace: We're spies, asshole.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Mace, Marie, and Khadijah during the final battle while shooting at Nick's men.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted. Mace and Marie were often very beaten-up after heavy altercations, with wounds to match.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Elijah Clarke is built up to be the Big Bad, having been the one who stole the drive in the first place and kicking off the plot, with Nick as his Dragon. Later, he's later Out-Gambitted by Nick, who shoots him dead in retaliation for sending a hit squad after him.
  • Black-Tie Infiltration: Mace, Khadijah, Marie, and Graciela go undercover at a high-class auction in Shanghai with comms in their earrings and cameras in their necklaces.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Formed by Marie, Khadijah, and Mace, respectively, when they're fighting side-by-side during the final shoot-out.
  • Big "NO!": Given by Khadijah when Nick has her boyfriend killed to force her to give up the device.
  • Broken Pedestal: Mace is rocked to discover Marks was the one using the device to make a fortune and was using her to get it.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Chinese poison Mi Sheng told Mace about is later used on Nick.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Luis dies in Graciela's arms after being shot by a fellow Colombian agent. Graciela is deeply shaken by both his death and the betrayal.
  • Evil All Along: Nick and Marks are revealed to have been working for Clarke since the beginning, a revelation that stuns and horrifies Mace.
  • Foreshadowing: The reveal that Marks was the bad guy was hinted given that he told Mace he personally identified Nick's body and then sent her out on her own.
  • Good All Along: Mi Sheng is first shown killing Marks and then auctioning off the drive. It's later revealed that Marks was working for Clarke and Mi Sheng was using the auction to scout out terrorists, with no intention of actually selling the drive.
  • The Heavy: Nick drives most of the plot while Clarke simply directs from his mansion.
  • Heroic BSoD: Done by almost all the women after Nick kills Khadijah's boyfriend, Marie's mentor, Mi Sheng's father, and nearly Graciela's family. They soon overcome it to seek payback.
  • Heroic Seductress: Graciela flirts with one of the auction attendees to get information about the drive.
  • Hiding in a Hijab: Khadijah turns her headscarf into a makeshift hijab to blend in with the locals during the mission in Morocco. Graciela gets the idea that all of them should put on hijabs to take the drive from a mook, who is unable to tell which woman in the crowd took it from him.
  • Hope Spot: Not once, not twice, but three times.
    • The team is able to secure the drive in Morocco, only for several passenger airplanes to crash at the same time, indicating that the villains have somehow gotten it. They return to the CIA base to find Marks dead and the drive missing.
    • After the auction, Mi Sheng reveals that she is on their side and has been keeping the drive safe, only for Nick to swarm Mi Sheng's hideout with his men and force the team to give him the drive by killing their loved ones.
    • During the final shoot-out, Marie finds the drive, only for Nick to shoot her in the shoulder and nearly kill her and Mace, if not for the timely intervention of Graciela.
  • I Have Your Wife: Nick threats to kill the women's loved ones until they hand over the drive. Graciela gives in and begs the other women to let him have the drive so he'll spare her family. Although the team eventually defeats him, he manages to kill Khadijah's boyfriend, Marie's mentor, and Mi Sheng's father, leaving only Graciela's family alive.
  • It's Personal with the Dragon: Nick answers to Clarke, but since he's the one who spends most of the movie trying to get the drive back, and later goes as far as to execute Khadijah's boyfriend, Marie's mentor, and Mi Sheng's father, he also ends up earning the heroines' ire.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Marie shoots a mook in the thigh to force him to tell the team everything he knows about the drive.
  • Love-Interest Traitor: Mace admits she has feelings for Nick during their mission in Paris and they sleep together. When Marks tells Mace that Nick is dead, she's utterly devastated and out for revenge. Then she finds out that he's been working to secure the drive for his terrorist boss.
  • MacGuffin: The device used to access any digital system on Earth.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Marks and Jonah were brutally killed in the second half of the movie. Inverted with the former, since he was a traitor who's just using Mace to get what he wanted. Mi Sheng's father was also executed by the end, though their relationship was unfortunately unexplored much in the movie.
  • Mole in Charge: At the conclusion, Nick Fowler has used his connections to get back into the CIA and get a promotion to lead the hunt for Mace and the others... until they confront him, feed him a dangerous poison, and reveal that they have given his superiors evidence of the scale of his corruption so that he will definitely be arrested later.
  • Multi National Team: Mace is American, Marie is German, Khadijah is British, Graciela is Colombian, and Mi Sheng is Chinese. This is significant because Mace, Marie, and Graciela work for different national intelligence agencies that don't necessarily trust each other.
  • Never Found the Body: We never see Nick get shot, and only have Marks' word to take after he says he personally ID'ed the body. Sure enough, it later turns out Nick faked his death and Marks helped cover it up.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Surprisingly averted through most of the movie. The girls, while skilled, fought realistically against much larger and stronger opponents: using the environment and leverage as best they could to offset the difference in strength. However, it's played straight by the end when Mace gave Nick one of these (though he was, admittedly, disoriented by a frickin' bomb exploding in his face).
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: All five women work for different agencies from different countries, but find themselves brought together on the same crisis.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: The finale's massive hotel shootout ends with the local police storming in and arresting everyone.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: At the end of the movie, Mace spikes Nick's drink with a drug that will knock him out, leaving him to be arrested.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Throughout the first part of the movie, Mace and Marie did not like each other, at all. They're doing their missions together with spite barely held back by the presence of Khadijah and Gracie. However, by the end of the movie, they've become Fire-Forged Friends who's, at worst, merely Vitriolic Best Buds with each other.
  • Title Drop: "355" refers to a famous female spy during the American War of Independence, whose real name was never known and is only recorded by her codename; Mace mentions her during the final confrontation with the villain.
  • Time Skip: Two months pass after the final battle, during which Nick kills Clarke, and Nick himself is later subdued and arrested by the heroines.
  • Took a Level in Badass: After spending the movie protesting she's not an agent, Graciela ends up packing a gun for the finale and being the one to shoot Nick.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The reveal that Nick isn't dead should have been obvious given his presence in several scenes in the trailers.
  • Train Escape: While their fighting over the drive, Marie tries to evade Mace by hiding in a subway tunnel. She manages to get onto the train and gets away.
  • Would Hurt a Child: At one point, the villains prove willing to threaten and potentially kill Graciela's young children to get the rest of the group to talk.
  • Undercover as Lovers: Mace and Nick's cover during the Paris mission is posing as newlyweds on their honeymoon. They do have genuine feelings for each other and sleep together during the mission.
  • Villain Opening Scene: The first scene is of Clarke having a meeting with a drug lord before shooting him dead and stealing the device.

"We put ourselves in danger, so others aren't. We're the 355."