Thursday, 19 August 2010

Salt: Movie Review

Salt: Movie Review

Rating: 5/10
Cast: Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Director: Phillip Noyce
In the absence of any kind of new Bond film, there's always a new contender ready to step up.
This year's entry is Angelina Jolie's Salt.
Jolie is Evelyn Salt, a CIA agent whose life is turned upside down one day when, on the eve of her wedding anniversary, a Russian defector comes in from the cold and fingers her as a Russian sleeper agent.
And things go from bad to worse when Salt's accused of being the one who will kill the Russian president in America, igniting fears of Day X (a feared day when America and her allies will be attacked on all sides) coming true.
Mind you, Salt doesn't help herself by running - to try and clear her name.
Soon, everyone wants a piece of Salt - and the clock is ticking.
Salt is a thriller which doesn't thrill as much as it could. It's fine in the action stakes and kudos need to be given to those involved as the majority of the stunts are done without the use of CGI...but it's the story which has hokum written all over it.
Right - here's your warning; this is where things get a little spoilery.
If you're after a bit of a story where the plot holes are apparent but want to just put your brain in neutral, then this is the film for you.
As Salt swaps sides left right and centre, it gets a bit dizzying as you try and keep up with who she is and isn't - but it's almost as if the film makers have considered that and when she goes bad, she wears black (just like in the wild west) and when she's Russian, she wears Russian furs.
While that sounds fine, that's indicative of how the overall film is - it's not amazing and it's not terrible either - it's just ok. There's a clever idea in there about sleeper agents - and one twist did catch me unaware - but all in all, the film feels a little bit of a disappointment.
And the fact it's set up for a sequel didn't leave me wanting more (not a good sign).
The main trio of actors involved- Schreiber, Ejiofor and Jolie acquit themselves fine - they're all very dour and G man in various ways - and the whole film does take itself rather seriously. Jolie's ok when she's kicking some ass but she looks so slight that it's a hard ask to be convinced that she'd be the one to better the bad guys (or are they the good guys?).
Unfortunately Salt is lacking a little bite and tension at the end - while there are some signs those involved wanted this to be a female Bourne Identity, it doesn't quite measure up and is ultimately underwhelming.

(Although having watched Salt, I've learnt how to turn an ordinary office chair into some kind of rocket launcher - so my colleagues had best watch out...)

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