By Nick Manteris · 0 Comments · Leave a Comment
Angelina Jolie stars as Evelyn Salt in the new action thriller Salt. It’s a “by the numbers” spy film with a couple exciting scenes, but they don’t really make up for the overly unrealistic and predictable plot. Jolie is a captivating actress (I could stare at her lips all day) and she’s effective as an action star – Mr. and Mrs. Smith is probably the best example of this – so my level of interest never faltered too much, but she’s the only reason the movie works at all.
If you’ve seen the trailer then you know that Salt is forced to go on the run from the CIA because she is accused of being a Russian sleeper agent. (Didn’t the Cold War end sometime before Y2K?) To say much more might spoil things for the two of you that will still want to see the movie after reading this review, but it’s safe to say that the events are fairly easy to anticipate. The biggest surprise actually came during the credits when I learned that Kurt Wimmer wrote the film. (Wimmer is responsible for the delightfully fun Gun Kata of Equilibrium and the sad, disappointing everything of Ultraviolet.)
Salt originally had Tom Cruise attached to play the lead, but he dropped out due to similarities between this character and the one he plays in Mission Impossible. (Then he went on to play a different type of spy in the uneven Knight and Day. I can’t blame him though…I would have picked the “make out with Cameron Diaz” project as well.) This movie borrows somewhat heavily from a few other (better) films: Jolie uses the same move as Niobe from The Matrix, recites an “I’m innocent” speech much like Harrison Ford in The Fugitive and, in just about every other scene, she runs around or fights like a female Jason Bourne. (Also, the editing in the fight scenes is quick and choppy like the Bourne films directed by Greengrass…if you like that sort of thing.)
Overall, there are a couple tense scenes that are worth experiencing, but they aren’t enough to hold the movie together and, ultimately, you might want to skip this one. The ending is left open for the possibility of a sequel (or a franchise!) so if Salt makes enough money we might see Angelina Jolie running around and beating people up in the future. I’ll go see it, but, then again, I’d watch the video if she accidentally filmed herself reading a book for two hours.