Secret Team 355 Review, when the secret agent is a woman

How to make a spy / action / drama movie? We need the usual invention that would have been better than no one else had invented, a deadly device, a lethal virus, a technological device capable of infiltrating all the Internet networks in the world, and so on. Obviously, there are immediately many “bad guys” who want to do this, destroy the world, blackmail governments.

What to do then? Grab a Tom Cruise-style hero or a group of mavericks to retrieve the object and defeat the evil plots, and unleash them through various cities around the world. With the necessary variations, that’s all Secret team 355, the new all-female action, a true hymn to female power, to brotherhood. The title has its origins in an ancient story, almost a legend that says that during the American Revolution a spy woman operated, identified with the code 355.

The “MacGuffin” on which everyone is on the trail is a device capable of hacking anything from the security systems of a nuclear power plant to the stock exchanges, from the equipment of an airplane in flight to the pocket smartphone. But it could be anything else, that’s not the point. The point is to trigger the hunt for a handful of agents other than the usual one. And what is more different (even today) than a woman?

After the women / bandit Bardot / Moreau of Viva Maria! in 1965, after Charlie’s Angels, after Proof of Death’s “tarantinous” female executioners, after the scammers / thieves of the female version of Ocean’s Eleven and the cowgirls of the Godless TV series, a wild gang of belonging agents. to the secret services of several nations (America, Germany, China, England), as well as a Colombian therapist who accidentally ended up in the middle of things bigger than her.

A perfect look for the souk of Marrakech.

The stakes are so high that no one can be trusted and betrayals and betrayals get worse as the action moves at high speed from Paris to Marrekech and Shanghai (never count the time zones). After a start in a way but acceptable, Secret Team 355 falls into an absurd and hyperbolic central part, to try to recover in extremis with a dramatic turn only to conclude in the line of the previous tone. A three-quarter turn of the narrative does not affect anyone …

As the agents, always handsome and with very few marks on their faces even after deadly punches, advance in their search, the moments that generate perplexity accumulate: how they managed to catch on the fly a boy who knew nothing, who appeared among the crowd of Marrakech? City in the souk of which Jessica Chastain walks with an elegant khaki tallieur with a wide-winged white Fedora (just to go unnoticed).

In addition, he never gives up on his heels and, with a 6 cm eye, walks on suspended thin trellis and jumps on a container. As for going unnoticed, when the girls have to take part in an auction between multimillion-dollar shoppers and criminals, the chosen tactic will be to hide from view and make a sensational “ganassa” dress for the evening, and it is not known where. . We found time at the hairdresser and beautician, with jewelry containing microcameras (but where did they find them?). In the course of the film, it also happens that American and German agents shoot at the crowd without thinking.

How to go unnoticed in a lair of rich criminals?

Directed by Simon Kinberg, more active as a producer than as a director, in fact it is only his second feature film after X-Men: Dark Phoenix. He also co-wrote the screenplay with Theresa Rebeck, author of the story (we remember her for the Smash series, also a story centered on female characters).

Secret Team 355 is one of those action / adventure / espionage movies, so to speak, that would have been better if I had been more sober; an atomic-style blonde “sobriety” would have been enough, let alone Charlie’s Angels (the 2019 remake). The final attack with explosives and heavy weapons is inevitable and predictable (but the protagonists find time to change their clothes), and even the huge Colombian therapist is armed.

In the end the film is just an excuse to put on the screen a series of famous and very beautiful actresses, who have given the opportunity to show that they are able to act well on other occasions, and so it seems a great waste. They are all mostly engaged in physical activity: Jessica Chastain gives them and takes them in a pair of melee with an always pretty Diane Kruger, chasing and chasing others, facing older men with twice as many pounds with her bare hands .

What can go wrong?

If they are the arm, Lupita Nyon’go, an English hacker, is the mind but does not despise going out in the field when she is really angry. The Immaculate Fan Bingbing fights and shoots without her bun going crazy. Penelope Cruz says half of her lines in Spanish when she calls her young son and only cares about the family (ah, Latin women). The men who only create trouble are the seductive Sebastian Stan, the confused Edgar Ramirez, the evil Jason Flemyng (here too a good waste of actors).

To quote the phrase that is often said of a film that did not convince us, “beautiful photography.” Here we end by saying “nice graphics in the credits”.

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