Salt: Movie Review
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Could the timing of Angelina Jolie's new movie, Salt, be anymore perfect? The answer: no. With the news of Russian spies living in the U.S. fresh in our minds, Tinseltown is banking on a big box office payday this weekend with their new espionage thriller. A twisting, turning plot from start to finish, Salt begs audiences to figure out where her character’s loyalties lie.
Laced with profanity and some intensely violent action, Salt limits its reach audience wise (This PG-13 (barely not an R) film is not recommended for children).
The Movie in a Minute
Ready to call it a day, CIA agent Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) and colleague Ted Winter (Liev Schreiber) is summoned back to interrogation when a Russian defector shows up at the agency’s cover facility in Washington, D.C. During questioning, the walk-in claims that the CIA has a mole, naming Salt as the double agent. Relying on years of operative experience, Salt escapes CIA custody in an effort to prove her innocence and protect her civilian husband. Hunting her is CIA agent Peabody, along with bewildered agent Winter. Is Evelyn Salt’s true cover as a loyal agent blown or is she being set up?
Is Salt Good or Bad?
An entertaining popcorn movie, Salt gives action fans what they want – a good story arc with lots of explosions, car chases, daring stunts, automatic weapons, and hand-to-hand combat. Though not the most complicated of storylines, this new Jolie flick does offer twists and turns designed to keep us asking: Who is Salt...really? Its plausibility, however, is rather low, especially considering some of tactics Salt uses to evade capture (Salt jumps from a speeding Subway train and scales the inside of an elevator shaft unscathed). That said, the stunts were without a doubt thrilling.
Angelina Jolie has proven her talent as a female action star in the likes of Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Wanted. Her strong physicality and finesse as CIA operative Evelyn Salt in this new action-packed spy thriller just adds her to credits. She goes at this James Bond- and Jason Bourne-esque flick with full force (Apparently, some years ago, Jolie said she wanted to be the next Bond. And press notes indicate the original script for Salt was rewritten from male lead to a female, from Edwin Salt to Evelyn). In a male dominated cast, Angelina Jolie energizes the action scenes and pulls you into the dramatic. Another noteworthy performance is given by familiar face Liev Schreiber (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Manchurian Candidate), who plays Ted, a fellow agent and friend of Salt’s. Screenwriter Kurt Wimmer’s no-lull story is captured well on film by noted director Phillip Noyce, who brought us such movies as the Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford) action thrillers Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger, and The Bone Collector (Jolie’s first film with Noyce).
The offensive content found in PG-13 rated Salt teeters on the R line. Though no gruesome images are shown, the implications are there as we see Salt carry out some violent actions. At one point, she uses a broken bottle to stab a man in the throat. Audiences see the bloody glass after it is tossed aside, but not the fatal effect it has on the target. Foul language also is a problem. References to God and Jesus Christ were made, but not in a reverent manner.
In the End
If we're rating Salt on its entertainment value alone, it would be a B+. The action bits and dramatic storyline are definitely entertaining. But, if moral content is what you go by, it's below a C-, falling into failing territory.
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