Sunday, August 1, 2010
Summary: Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) works for the CIA Russian Division. Out of the blue a defector walks in stating he has valuable information to share in hopes to gain asylum. He announces that a Russian sleeper spy is going to kill the Russian President in the few days. Unsure of the man’s motives, Salt dismisses his information as false. Things change drastically when the defector says the name of the sleeper assassin is Evelyn Salt. Immediately, Salt goes on the run in order to prove her innocence. As she runs, pieces of her past start creeping up to the surface forcing everyone to question who she really is.
Plot (B): As the movie progressed I became increasingly comfortable with the fact that Salt wasn’t as predictable as I thought it was going to be. There is more to this story than what you see in the trailers. During the course of the movie you will continually question who Salt is and where does her loyalty lie. The more we find out about Salt’s background the more interesting she becomes. Overall, I felt that this was a different approach to a post Cold War spy movie and it was rather refreshing.
Action (B): With her years of experience on the job Evelyn Salt is part spy part McGuyver. Being locked into a sealed room does not worry Salt in the least. She quickly improvises and makes a rocket launcher- like weapon out of a fire extinguisher, cleaning products; I think a coffee filter with crushed grins, and a hollow metal table leg. Twenty seconds later what does she have? A hole in the wall and way out. While that scene was original I felt that the other action sequences were somewhat conventional. I’m not saying they were bad. Just ordinary. Jolie did dominate all the physical attributes her character called for, which I liked because I hate spotting the obvious stunt double ie) Arnold’s in True Lies. However, Jolie’s character could and should have had more cuts and bruises on her body for some of the things she was doing. With each jump, kick, or fall her hair was perfectly in place and conveniently out of her eyes.
Acting & Dialogue (B): You can call her a home wrecker or a thief for stealing Brad away from Jennifer Aniston but when it’s all said and done Angelina Jolie is good actress. (By the way I could care less about that whole situation. It was just a good intro.) Jolie played her character well and I have always enjoyed watching her in these types of roles. Jolie presents Salt as a sexy woman that isn’t afraid to kick ass and get dirty. Furthermore, as any other assassin/spy she is emotionless, self-sufficient, smart, and deadly. I feel these attributes needed to be displayed for such a type of character. I was happy to see she was portrayed this way rather than some emotional wreck clinging to her so called innocence. Jolie did dominate the vast majority of the film leaving little room for her co-stars to shine. I say that with the exception of Liev Schriber (Scream, Defiance). Schriber, who has recently been named one of the Best Actors of Our Generation by Entertainment Weekly (rightfully so), stood out as well. He’s good in anything he does but most importantly Schriber provided a solid supporting cast mate, which complimented Jolie’s style. They would work well together if they both starred in a serious drama.
Sex Appeal (N/A): Typically, we get something worth seeing in an Angelina Jolie film ie) Gia and Wanted. But not in this case. Whaaaaaaaa!!!!
Director (B): Phillip Noyce has a great amount of experience in the spy world genre, which made him perfectly suitable to direct Salt. Some of his professional highlights are: Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger (both starring Harrison Ford and centered on writer Tom Clancy’s character Jack Ryan), The Saint (starring Val Kilmer and Elizabeth Shue, another film with Russian character influences), Sliver, and The Bone Collector (starring Jolie as well). While the last two are vastly different than Noyce’s other work they do have one thing in common: deception. It seems that Noyce is very familiar with it and does well displaying it in his films. While Salt is certainly not better than Patriot Games, or even The Saint in my opinion at least, Salt is a notable film on his resume.