Monday With Mildred: “The 355”

The 355 movie poster

The 355

What is it with hackers hating on the world so much that they’re willing to destroy it to prove themselves? Do they not realize if the world goes splat on its face the Internet would probably die? What then, hacking Scrabble tournaments by painting the tiles black?

In this fast paced international spy thriller, one hacker demonstrates his prowess to a prospective buyer by blowing up a passing passenger plane from the comfort of his couch using his steampunk chic hard drive. Bad guys with guns arrive, and suddenly every agency and rival villain in the world is looking for the ugly little box. It takes a good bit of time, but eventually the band from the movie poster gets together and the series of ass whoopin’s that got them there continues. The band is a gang of women with various strengths and a large streak of mistrust who must work together to save the world.

There are a lot of fight scenes in the film, and they’re all frenetic and large and often cover a lot of territory through various cities and cultures around the world. I really appreciated the international flavor, and it reminded me of the early Bourne movies. These are not “girl fights”, either, and one scene in particular had what I referred to in my notes as the “Best. Lighting. Ever.” The writing is better than normal for this kind of film, with no pace killing backstories for all the players as they appear. We just see them at work and learn about them from their actions. I also appreciated the lack of “shaky camera” that is done so often in action film fights. The music during these scenes has a workmanlike beat but is otherwise forgettable. It didn’t seem to add to the drama, but didn’t get in its way, either. I could tell that the hard drive is a classic MacGuffin because every time a “good guy” got their hands on it they didn’t just stomp it into a pile of wheels and cogs. This kept them chasing the thing, of course, but that little plot point continued to bug me. The women are all very feminine presenting, so they had to overcome classic female to female obstacles. For some reason this didn’t bother me much, though normally that kind of things gives me eye roll strain.

In a classic Evil Speech of Evil we get a huge mansplain about the meaning of the phrase 355, who was supposedly the female 007 to George Washington, but is generally considered an overgenerous interpretation of a brief note from the American Revolutionary War spy master. It was disappointing to learn that, but I did very much enjoy the gigantic mansplain burn put on the guy.

This is a fun movie with a lot of action. Sometimes it gets mean, so be careful if you think that might bother you. The writing and acting and cinematography are good or better, but the music is so-so. They cover the whole world in just a couple of hours, usually without ginormous infrastructure destruction, which I appreciated. I recommend it if you like action flicks, and I wish SOMEONE, SOME DAY would have the guts to do a sequel to a “chick action flick”. This movie would be a good choice.


CFR: In Addition:

Mildred, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for reviewing this movie. I bought it IMMEDIATELY because I like to put my money where my heart is and I love action/adventure, especially when there are cool women! This movie did not disappoint. Ok, ok, maybe the hacker/Internet thing was silly BUT I did not watch this movie for intellectual discussion, I watched it for FUN! And FUN IT WAS. A wide variety of awesome women, ranging in color and age, kicking butt, taking names, working through personal issues, and being heroes the entire time. Loved it.

I also want to thank Mildred because today is the 4th of July/Independence Day here in America. Personally, I needed a patriotic boost and this review provided it.

As explained in the beginning of the movie, 355 is code name given to a woman spy employed by George Washington to win the American Revolution. * Smile * If you look through the links below, we really only have one sentence written about her. In fact some argue she didn’t exist or did very little. Oh suck it haters. I could go into how traditional historians (well mostly men) LOVE to write OUT women and their contribution. I’ll add their links but, whatever. A good spy remains undercover. Whatever she might have done, I thank her.

Thanks 355. Thanks Mildred. Thanks.

Historical Links:

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