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Review: Salt (12a)

Directed by: Phillip Noyce
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber

Synopsis: When seasoned CIA spook Evelyn Salt (Jolie) is named as a Russian double agent she goes on the run to find her husband and clear her name. The only problem is Salt may well be everything that she’s accused of being. As the foretold “Day X”, the proposed start of World War 3, draws nearer the truth about Salt must be uncovered to save the world.

Bourne with boobs? Well, not quite. From the synopsis and, indeed the trailer, you might well get that impression but Salt is a whole different being all together. Firstly it’s a lot more tongue in cheek. The plot gets pretty ridiculous even before Jolie slaps on the facial prosthesis to become the most freakishly effeminate male NATO officer in recorded history. Insane leaps between moving vehicles, weaponised spider venom and super-Hollywood CIA headquarters are the order of the day here. Think more along the lines of the Mission: Impossible series than the all more serious Bourne trilogy.

salt

Ridiculous as it may be this doesn’t mean it’s a bad movie. Jolie is clearly at home here as she slides comfortably back into her action boots after her hiatus from acting due to becoming a mother (to one of her own children). And she’s back with a bang. Salt is easily better than the two ill-conceived Tomb Raider movies and with Jolie front and centre she gets enough screen time to expand on the great action set pieces she hinted at in Wanted. Although Salt lacks the subtlety and ironic sub-plot of Mr and Mrs Smith it still ambles along at a decent enough pace to satisfy. There are certainly enough twists and turns to keep most happy for the duration as well. You might guess some of them but I doubt you’ll get them all.

Supporting cast perform admirably and, as is pretty much the law, don’t steal focus from Jolie. Schreiber, in particular, more than pleased as he took up much the same character as he played in The Sum of All Fears, with added suit. That’s all I can say about that.

Noyce did a pretty good job in the directors chair, so long as he wasn’t trying to make anything too taxing… because it wasn’t. Action set pieces played out well and there was enough suspense on the build up to them. A satisfying conclusion to wash down the popcorn leaves us with a well rounded action movie, but not much of a thinker.

Verdict: 4/5

3 comments

  1. Rick Nunn - August 23, 2010 11:35 am

    I watched this last night and enjoyed it… up until the first scene in the White House. If I saw anyone in the street who looked like Jolie did while posing as a man I’d probably expect what happened next to be like something out of the 1980s movie Cocoon… but anyway as soon as she was back to being a woman, albeit with horrendous man hair, I started to enjoy it again & I thought Schreiber was very good. I think I’d go for a 3/5 score on this one Dan.

  2. Luke Jones - August 23, 2010 2:37 pm

    I’m undecided as to whether or not I should watch this film yet. I may have to pop to the cinema this Wednesday to watch it. Anything for an excuse to see Angelina Jolie, right?

  3. ItsAdam - September 24, 2010 3:36 pm

    I’ve seen it, was much better than I thought/expected it would be, and it wasn’t something I was falling to sleep watching or thinking “FFS cmon'”, the later half of the movie is better!

    I’ll agree on the 3/5 maybe a 4, but that’s the upper limit!

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