Director: Phillip Noyce
Cast: Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel
Ejiofor, Zoe Lister Jones, Yara Shahidi, Victor Slezak, Gaius
Charles, Corey Stoll, Cassidy Hinkle, Kevin O'Donnell, Tobias
Campbell, James Cronin, Ethan Ladd
RunTime: 1 hr 40 mins
Released By: Columbia TriStar
Rating: PG (Violence)
Official Website: http://www.whoissalt.com/
Day: 5 August 2010
As a CIA officer, Evelyn Salt (Jolie) swore an oath to duty,
honor and country. Her loyalty will be tested when a defector
accuses her of being a Russian spy. Salt goes on the run,
using all her skills and years of experience as a covert operative
to elude capture. Salt's efforts to prove her innocence only
serve to cast doubt on her motives, as the hunt to uncover
the truth behind her identity continues and the question remains:
"Who Is Salt?"
Who is Salt? Is she an operative CIA agent or a KGB spy sent by the Russians?
This question probably doesn’t matter after you walked out of the cinema hall as you are likely unable to recall much of anything else besides the fact that Salt is just another relentless action flick that stars one of the hottest movie star in Hollywood right now, Angelina Jolie Voight or add a Pitt to it if you wish.
Jolie plays Evelyn Salt, a CIA officer who is being accused of being an undercover Russian spy by a defector. So what is Salt going to do to prove her innocence? She runs. You hear that right, she runs away from cops and her fellow colleagues including Ted Winter (Liev Schreiber) and William Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor) in addition to the boggling fact that she is being 'activated' to assassinate the President of Russia. But her priority on hand is to look for her missing arachnologist husband. Thus begin the continuous action pieces that will make any respectable action star proud and for this reason alone, you might chose to forgive Kurt Wimmer’s implausible writing.
Eerily similar to "The Bourne Identity" franchise, "Salt" relies heavily on its high-octane action sets although discarding any good narrative treatment seen in the former. Its Bourne + that Bond from MGM meets The Fugitive meet the combination of Tomb Raider and Mission Impossible. But this is what you get if you hire Kurt Wimmer for the gig, the latter who came up with "Ultraviolet" and last year, "Law Abiding Citizen" is not renowned for any subtly or hefty Tom Clancy’s sort of conspiracies. Instead what you get is an undercover brainwashed operation initiate by the Russia to send their agents to penetrate the soil of the United States so as to await orders to strike at the right time.
As a customised star vehicle for Jolie (for the record "Salt" was initially offered but turned down by Tom Cruise who found it too much akin to his Mission Impossible series and subsequently the role was rewritten to fit Jolie) and a product for the summer blockbuster slate, "Salt" definitely fits the bill. Director Phillip Noyce who returns to the studio arena after a number of years helming independent flicks proved he is still an adept hand in crafting a big-budgeted Hollywood summer flick. The old-school Australian helmer who is renowned for his political-charged action thrillers, "Patriot Games" and "Clear and Present Danger" delivers the goods at ease and with the help of stunt choreographer Simon Crane and veteran editor Stuart Baird, the collision and explosion gets bigger with each setup not forgetting the dizzy, frenetic editing. Smoke bomb, a DIY bazooka and even a pair of undies is utilized by Salt to make her exit. The props department should deserve some credit at the next Academy Awards for the latter.
The main star herself, Angelina Jolie was listed on IMDB for performing most of her own stunts. Watching her leaping from the roofs of moving vehicles, jumping from train, riding furiously on a stolen bike and dangling in an elevator shaft, at least you know the lady is worth every damn nickel on her million dollars paycheck. This is a star movie that practically sells on Jolie’s charisma and face alone (just look at the poster for proof) and it works big time. Liev Schreiber and Chiwetel Ejiofor both respectively good actors are left on the sideline with the occasional bickering scenes that doesn’t actually require an ounce of acting muscle from the duo.
Despite a half-baked espionage plot that involves the what, Cold War? What’s that for the younger generation? And a story that twists and turns without much of a satisfactory conclusion, the movie succeeds with its flawless chase sequences, marathon stuntwork and a gutsy leading lady. DC comics, you know who you should call for a Wonder Woman.
Review by Linus Tee
(Needs a little pepper to balance out the high sodium content otherwise it’s a serviceable action flick for the masses)