Starring Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Directed by Phillip Noyce. 99 minutes. PG
One heartthrob hubby and six children later, Angelina Jolie’s still pulls off a badass attitude. Really, you’d think between feeding time, diaper changes and play dates the mama could never be cool, but after watching Salt, it’s obvious she’s unaffected by it all.
In Salt, CIA agent Evelyn Salt (Jolie) is accused during an interrogation of being a Russian spy, plotting to kill the president of Russia. Brain scanning software says the man is telling the truth. Suspicious, her colleagues keep her in an isolated room under surveillance, meanwhile, escorting the man she was interrogating out of the building. However, when the man kills his escorts in the elevator, Evelyn gets her chance to escape and makes a run for it. Of course, that’s exactly what you want to do when the CIA suspects you of a crime – seemingly confirming their suspicions. She immediately runs to her apartment in search of husband who she feels might be in danger to find that he isn’t there. She wastes no time and pulls the CIA on a mad chase. Let the gun slinging and explosions follow.
Jolie’s face is made for serious ass-kicking. Her eyebrows slant and her cheekbones are defined. Give her a gun and you have no chance of survival. Even before Salt goes brunette, she ain’t no sweet little blondie. Although Jolie’s acting throws no surprises, following the genre closely, she fit’s the mold so perfectly that it won’t matter to action fans. Others, however, might find it a bit excessive. I mean, she does wear all black and wield a gun and is running from the CIA.
Music helps pump the chase scenes, as Jolie leaves a booby-trapped trail behind, wisping through the streets, even inching across the window ledge. You feel as though you’re on the case and you can’t want to look away because you might just give her that chance she needs to slip past your eyes. Quiet scenes also captivate, as Salt slowly peers around corners and lightly pushes on doors.
It’s truly an escapist film. A bit mind-numbing, but it’s action done right. And although there’s nothing really novel about a story about mistaken identity, at least it’s not another one about a man who seeks vengeance over the life of his daughter. B
EXTRAS: Extended cuts, commentary, featurettes.
*Review originally published August 5, 2010.