Saturday, July 24, 2010

ANGELINA JOLIE SALT REVIEW


Salt isn't a very good movie in all honesty, but you just cannot keep your bloody eyes off the screen for the 100 minutes of a hot mess that it is. Please don't get me wrong, despite having a limited range as an actress, Angelina Jolie is fantastic at what she does. Nobody does dead-pan, sexy action-hero like Jolie but this is far from her best work. The problems here all lie in Kurt Wimmer's (Thomas Crown Affair, The Recruit) near non-existent script and director Phillip Noyce's over-dependency on action sequences (albeit amazing), even when they aren't needed.

The story revolves around CIA agent Evelyn Salt (Jolie) who we learn is a great asset to the Secret Service, undergoing torture and interrogation by the North Koreans at the beginning of the film; she is suspected of being an American spy. She denies this vehemently before being released back to the U.S. with the help of Ted Winter (Liev Schreiber), when of course we realize that she is in fact a Spy after all. We see that she is greeted by her husband Mike Krause (August Diehl) and get a bit of back story on their relationship. Mike is an author and despite her hesitations, they fall in love even knowing the risks involved in marrying a Secret Agent.

A Defector named Orlov (Daniel Olbrychski) shows up at the Agency unannounced, claiming to the them while under interrogation, that Evelyn is in fact a Russian Spy disguised as an American Spy. This casts doubts regarding Evelyn's identity and she flees, as the CIA are in hot pursuit of her. The question though is - is she running to protect her husband who she feels could be in danger after this surprise revelation, or is she running because she really has something to hide? As the story progresses, we realize that in true Deceptacon style, there's a whole lot more than meets the eye with Evelyn in this game of Cat and Mouse and I'll tell you one thing - this Mouse is Dangerous.  The costs associated include the lives of the Russian and American Presidents, as well as possible nuclear destruction all at the hands of Evelyn.

There a few problems with Salt. We are led to believe that Evelyn and Michael have this undying love which partially is a driving force in her actions, but I wasn't quite sold on this and for this reason alone the emotional foundation of the movie collapses. And as we learn throughout the film, Orlov and Evelyn have a back story, but this also isn't fleshed-out enough to bridge the all important cohesiveness needed to explain the story's premise. Screenwriter Wimmer however, does throw in a crafty twist at the end involving Ted's character, which results quite possibly in the most creative use of Railing and Handcuffs I've ever seen!

Sony Pictures' Salt is now in wide release, but one should walk in with low expectations and a hunger for Adrenaline. Grade: C+

2 comments:

  1. Agreed! Great premise, Angie's superstar power and fantastic action sequences unfortunately did not add up to a great movie.
    Not the worst I have seen but I'll take it for what it is - mindless action fun.
    Would have been a perfect Jason Statham movie. ;-)

    SALT2: Saltier!

    -eh-

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