Simon's Rating: 7/10
Player Affinity Composite Rating: 5.7/10
(3 reviews total)
Angelina Jolie’s latest actioner Salt
might have its fair share of explosive action, but even though it promises a quickened heart rate, it lacks any real substance, just like the mineral from which it gets its title. Ultimately, you will leave the theater wanting more. But did I like Salt
? Perhaps (In fact, maybe a little too much).
I was expecting constant action in Salt, but what I was not prepared for was how absolutely idiotic it would be. From what I assumed was a political thriller woven through an action template, it was quickly revealed to be nothing of the sort. The spy setup is simply an excuse to have Jolie perform impossible stunts and escape from any fathomable situation. These kinetic sequences, though ludacris, are not what inhibits Salt from reaching loftier heights, but rather the plot-hole filled story which is as eye-roll inducing as it is perfunctory.
As you might have gathered, the plot is moot, but the opening finds our heroine in a situation that could only be described as hairy but like most every problem she faces, proves to be one cool customer. We are fast-tracked, more or less, to Salt's interrogation of a KGB defector, who subsequently accuses her of being not from Uncle Sam’s side of the pond. So off she goes to clear her name, or whatever, and destroys half of the city in the process. But hey, I would let Angelina Jolie trash my place any day.
The plot plays second-fiddle to Jolie’s sultry screen presence and the noisy, crash-filled action set pieces, but with its PG-13 rating, it gives the target audience everything they could want in a summer blockbuster. Like many actors who are slowly passing through or well within middle age, Jolie has matured and brings significantly more gravitas to the proceedings then she ever did in Tomb Raider. Her co-stars do fine work as well, Liev Schreiber plays the long-time friend and co-worker to able results, but the standout, even in a limited role, is the superb and underrated Chiwetel Ejiofor. He is memorable in any project he is associated with, if you remember, he certainly shined above all else in last year's 2012.
The true strength of Salt lies within the action sequences which are elegantly staged, white-knuckle and most importantly decipherable. Unlike most, I am not bothered by what has been dubbed “shaky can” filmmaking, but I will eat some of my words as the clearly presented action scenes here are refreshing. The style is reminiscent of the latest Matt Damon spy actioners. Salt could just as easily be called "The Bourne Salt-imatum," but I suppose the pedigree of the ludacris plot sets this blockbuster on a decidedly lower plane.
Amidst its inherent lunacy, Salt never becomes tedious, self-serious or boring for that matter. The pace is brisk and the action flashy so if you are looking for intelligence go see Inception for a second time instead.
Directed by: Phillip Noyce
Written by: Kurt Wimmer
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Other Player Affinity Reviews
Dinah thought: "Salt forces the notion of suspending disbelief to the brink with absolutely preposterous situations from open to closing credits. The first thing noticeable about our is-she-or-isn’t-she intelligence agent is that she is a bit too frail to be kicking butt up and down company hallways. Angelina Jolie is ever the uniquely beautiful gem she always has been, but in this movie she looks pale and aged. Her appearance is actually distracting, adding to the implausibility of the story presented. Worse is dialogue so horrible you’ll wonder why actors like Chiwetel Ejiofor and Andre Braugher ever signed on in the first place. Salt does have redeeming qualities. Mainly that the talking is minimal and the action is wall to wall. Jolie uses everything she can get her hands on to handle her opponents including moving semi-trucks, desk chairs, pens and her thong underwear (seriously). Despite fun moments, Salt is silly and forgettable. Rating: 4/10
Kieran thought: "There is a good basis for a plot in Salt: a rogue Russian spy awakening sleepers for his own evil purposes, but it is really just a silly spy thriller and another addition to a weak summer season of 2010. Angelina Jolie was convincing as an ass-kicking spy and she was ably supported by Liev Schreiber and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Philip Noyce is a traditional action director, using CGI only as a last resort, which is refreshing. There are some similities in tone to Alias. The fight scenes with Jolie are well handled and fun to watch, but the rest of the action scenes lack a believable feel that the "Bourne" Trilogy and the re-booted Bond series have. A sequel is unnecessary because it will simply retread the same material as this film. If Salt had a stronger script and developed its ideas more then it would have been better film. Still, it’s better than similar summer 2010 spy thriller Knight and Day." Rating: 6/10
Player Affinity Composite Rating: 5.7/10