Salt, despite its name, is a bland hybrid of action and identity mindbenders along the lines of the Bourne trilogy. For despite the smashing (and along with it, the punching, kicking and exploding) action sequences, the audience is left to marvel at the little else other than the title character’s incredulous misfortune, as well as the title character herself.
|PHOTO COURTESY OF SONY PICTURE|
Angelina Jolie plays Evelyn Salt, a CIA agent who is accused of being a Russian spy, forcing her to become a federal fugitive. Salt stands out for one and only one thing—Jolie’s lips. More expressive in a single scene than Keanu Reeves has been in his entire career, a slightly upturned pout tells us a moving story of her undying love for her husband. A downturned one reveals the shattering betrayal when all the nasty espionage business finally catches up to her.
For all it’s worth, understanding the plot is secondary to the enjoyment of the movie, which consists mainly of blow-ups, flashbacks, and heartbreak. Simply put, if you were seriously looking for a rehash of Cold War espionage on the big screen, you’d be better off watching a Bond film.
Still, Salt is a borderline enjoyable movie. If you’re male, Jolie is reason enough to catch it—after all, which other mother can have six children and still look like that? And if you’re female, it will give you motivation to get back to that long-abandoned fitness regime.
You might wonder, given their absence thus far, about Liev Schreiber and Chiwetel Ejiofor’s performances, which were good—the cake to Jolie’s icing. Schreiber delivers his character’s deadpan humor well while Ejiofor channels the conflicted cop persona convincingly enough, but just like the rest of the show, it’s not ground-breaking material.
To sum up, the action sequences played out in the form of Salt’s ingenious and resourceful improvisations were enjoyable, as were the chemistry between Jolie and the supporting characters. Less could be said about the plot’s strange logic loops and poor attempts at a backstory.