Sunday, December 19, 2010


or: The female Jason Bourne.

One word to sum it up: Popcorn-worthy.

It hasn't been Angelina Jolie's year. Both the movies she has been in this year, Salt and The Tourist were heavily publicized through tabloid magazines while she was filming them. That made everyone aware of these projects, but by the time they were released, everyone was somewhat disappointed (especially with The Tourist). However, despite it's many flaws, Salt is still a marvellously entertaining film, and a welcome return for Jolie back to what she does best: kicking butt. This may just be a huge star vehicle for her, but she manages to give it her all and her dedication is what makes this movie work.

Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) is a CIA agent and highly respected by all, including her boss, Ted Winter (Liev Schreiber). Out of the blue, a Russian spy walks into their offices and offers a vital piece of information: the President of Russia will be assassinated during his forthcoming visit to New York City to attend the funeral of the recently deceased U.S. Vice President. The name of the assassin: Evelyn Salt. Concerned about the safety of her husband, who she cannot contact, she goes on the run. Winter refuses to accept that she is a mole or a double agent but her actions begin to raise doubts. Just who is Evelyn Salt and what is she planning?

If Jason Bourne was a woman, then Evelyn Salt would be the result. She's pretty much invincible and intelligent, seems to know everything that is coming for her, wants her identity back and has the strangest tactics. However, unlike Jason Bourne, Evelyn Salt is totally unbelievable. She jumps on to a moving truck, unscathed. She kills several people within a few seconds, unscathed. She leads a whole lot of people on a merry chase right through a city, unscathed. Okay, she doesn't look perfect by the end of the movie, but the scriptwriters often mistake the audience to be stupid and try to portray Salt as iron woman. Sure, she is very intelligent, but I doubt a woman of Angelina Jolie's stature could take that much bashing in a day. Anyway, whatever Salt does in this movie is pretty entertaining.

Salt doesn't keep you guessing until the end, mainly because it has so many plot holes it's hard to keep track of what message the movie is trying to convey in several points. Unfortunately, the ending leaves little to be desired, but also has the promise for several more sequels in the future. Will Evelyn Salt become the new hero for the future? I doubt it. This first movie is a little too popcorn instead of thought provoking. Hidden behind all those glorious action sequences is a confused plot which never takes the time to slow down and tie up all the loose ends. Anyway, Salt is an action film which doesn't rely on blood and gore and offensive language to try and entertain us. It just entertains us by being the average blockbuster, and you can't really ask for more than that.

THE VERDICT: Light entertainment makes for Summer popcorn fun, but Salt is never fulfilling in any way. However, Angelina Jolie does a remarkably good job of keeping this movie afloat.


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