Movie Review: "Salt"

Yesterday was opening day for the new Angelina Jolie flick "Salt", so I decided to check it out.

So what's this movie about? "As a CIA officer, Evelyn Salt (Jolie) swore an oath to duty, honor and country. Her loyalty will be tested when a defector accuses her of being a Russian spy. Salt goes on the run, using all her skills and years of experience as a covert operative to elude capture. Salt's efforts to prove her innocence only serve to cast doubt on her motives, as the hunt to uncover the truth behind her identity continues and the question remains: "Who Is Salt?"--© Sony"

I wanted to see this film from the first time I heard about it.  Its been famously reported that this film was originally written for Tom Cruise, but Angelina Jolie wanted it instead & they re-wrote it for her.  With all the hype around this movie, I figured it would be one of those predictable action films, where the good guy is accused of being a bad guy, goes on the run, gets in a bunch of fights & blows things up in order to prove they are really a good guy, and then saves the day.

Yeah, that's not the movie I got.  And I was very pleasantly surprised.  I won't elaborate because that will give away the plot...but just know that what you expect from this film isn't what you will get, in terms of the storyline.

The positives: if you loved Angelina Jolie in Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Wanted, then you will love her in Salt.  Angelina's action sequences in this film are exciting, death-defying, and they leave the audience wanting more.  Sure, some of the stunts are so unbelievable as to never be able to work in real-life, but hey, we don't go to see action films for realness, right?  Beyond the action, Angelina plays the role of a CIA agent on the run extremely well. There's a ton of action in this movie, though not as much shooting & blowing up as I expected.  This film seems to straddle the line between thriller and action film very well.

I also enjoyed the supporting cast.  Liev Schreiber plays Salt's friend & boss, Ted Winter.  Throughout the film it seems like he's on her side & trying to prove her innocence & I didn't see the twist coming involving his character.  Chiwetel Ejiofor (one of my fave actors) plays Peabody, the CIA agent who is trying to capture Salt & bring her in for questioning.  Another great performance from him, tho his character was pretty 1-dimensional.  Then again, the only character who had any real development in this film was the character of Evelyn Salt.

The negatives: As I just mentioned, there isn't much character development when it comes to the supporting characters.  I would have really liked to have seen more insight into why Chiwetel Ejiofor's character assumed Salt was guilty & why he pursued her so hard.  This film also emphasized the Cold War very heavily, which ended almost 20 years ago, and that fact made the spy plot of the film a bit unbelievable.  The ending also seemed a little head-scratching...but I can understand why the film ended the way it did.

Overall, I enjoyed this movie.  I love Angelina Jolie & once again she didn't disappoint.  I was entertained & would definitely see it again.  I give this movie an 8 out of 10.

Go check out Salt!  To find a theater near you, click here.