“Salt” Movie Review (2010)

7/30/2010 Posted by Admin


Movie Review

Directed by Phillip Noyce, written by Kurt Wimmer, 99 minutes, rated PG-13.

By Christopher Smith

The new Angelina Jolie movie, “Salt,” stars Jolie as Evelyn Salt, a resourceful CIA agent who initially looks petite, blonde and pretty next to Liev Schreiber’s towering Ted Winter, a fellow agent, until her life takes a sudden turn for the worse.

And when that happens, she grows into a rampaging she-monster from hell who can’t be stopped, regardless of what you hurl her way. Not that anything is easy for her here. Salt has her work cut out for her in this movie, and Noyce is wise enough to show us the bloody toll it takes on his main character.

The story goes like this: While in the middle of an interrogation, Salt is called out as a Russian spy by the very Russian defector (Daniel Olbrychski) she’s questioning.

Cue the drama! Now on the run, Salt is forced to morph into a woman whose name also should have been allowed to morph, though into something with a bite. You know, like Patty Pepper Spray. Or Tammy Tobasco. Is there nothing that can stop this woman? Nothing that can take her down? Since Jolie has the lead, audiences know the answer.

Phillip Noyce based the film on Kurt Wimmer’s script, and what they’ve created is pleasantly absurd, the perfect summer throwaway that offers steam, heat and a seemingly bottomless taste for action. It’s a fun movie, so much so that you have to question the critics who currently are slamming it because they find it “ridiculous,” “cheesy,” “an action vehicle that moves fast but thinks slow.”

Oh, please. Will anyone be walking into this movie thinking they won’t have to suspend disbelief for the entire movie? That’s the film’s point, that’s what’s putting people into seats, and that’s what Noyce, Jolie and Schreiber deliver with aplomb.

And that they do so with aplomb is what makes the movie so good. Yes, this could have been a train wreck--we’ve all been to action movies that are so dull, they make you want to reach for a noose and call it a life. But “Salt” is sleek and engaging, and the key reason for that is Jolie herself. She brought everything she had to this part, which mostly is physical as she does most of her own stunts. There’s no phoning it in with Jolie. What you see is what you get.

Add to the mix Chiwetel Ejiofor in a small yet key role as another of Salt’s colleagues and you have a movie peppered (sorry) with actors who know how to pull off a brisk movie that doesn’t lag.

As for the film’s ending, it’s an absolute set-up for a sequel, and the good news is that there still is a story to tell here. Beyond the fact that Salt’s character is compelling enough to flesh out even further, who doesn’t want to see more of Jolie being the female equivalent of James Bond? Think that’s a stretch? When you see Jolie leap from bridges onto moving semis, or when you watch her rapidly scale an elevator shaft with no equipment other than her hands and feet, or when you see how she ingeniously gets a cop to drive with the help of a stun gun, there’s truth in that statement.

Jolie knows it, she owns it, and many who see it might want a bit more of it.

Grade: B+

View WeekinRewind.com's preview of "Salt" below.  What are your thoughts of the film?

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  1. ciara said...

    i went and saw this movie by myself, and i actually enjoyed it. there was a part or two that i didn't like, but that's cos of the emotional part of me lol i do see a possibility of a sequel as well.

  2. brexx25 said...

    I think Angelina should have hit the gym before shooting this and all that bouncing around that she is doing would have been more believable.

  3. Heather said...

    She's the only actress who can open a picture as a action heroine. It seems Angelina is becoming well seasoned in the action type lead role.