IT was while working on X-Men flop Dark Phoenix that Jessica Chastain conceived The 355. An all star, female led answer to the Mission Impossible franchise, the film recalls Ocean’s 8 and 2016’s Ghostbusters in its ideologies but enjoys an independence of conceit. This is no gender switched remake and no hardcore fanbase lies in the recesses of the Internet, baying to be riled.

Chastain’s Dark Phoenix director Simon Kinsberg helms the film, which comes co-written by Edgar Award winning playwright Theresa Rebeck. It’s a tale of espionage, of spies and supervillains, set across a global canvas of dazzling locations. Paris! Shanghai! Monaco! The 355 collects visas from them all.

At the core are a quartet of international agents and the top secret weapon they must unite to retrieve. Chastain leads the pack as CIA wild card Mason Brown. Lupita Nyong’o is our British rep, as former MI6 computer specialist Khadijah, Diane Kruger plays German agent Marie Schmidt and Penélope Cruz Graciela, a skilled Colombian DNI agent and psychologist. On the outskirts, tracking the four’s every move, is Chinese megastar Fan Bingbing, whose MSS spy Lin Mi Sheng appears to have her own ulterior motives.

Outwit the main cast, Marvel star Sebastian Stan plays Nick, a CIA officer and Mace’s colleague, with other roles for Édgar Ramírez, Emilio Insolera and Jason Wong. The film has been scored by Justice League’s Tom Holkenborg, with Tim Maurice-Jones responsible for its slick visual aesthetic.

Fully aware of its own heritage, The 355 takes its title from a history more notable than any gender switched Hollywood flick. Agent 355 is the only known name of George Washington’s first female spy, hired during the American Revolution. Their true identity a mystery to this day, Agent 355’s legacy - in the words of Chastain’s Mason - ‘lives on’.

Also out now, The King’s Man is Matthew Vaughn’s Ralph Fiennes fronted prequel to the Kingsman films.

Set in the early days of the First World War, the film charts the creation of the secret service agency that will one day recruit Taron Egerton’s Eggsy. Fiennes plays British aristocrat Orlando Oxford, who turns vigilante in the wake of his wife’s death in the Boer War.

The King’s Man is not, by all accounts, a triumph. Early flair quickly descends into a murky tedium, from which even Fiennes cannot salvage thrills.