As a CIA officer, Evelyn Salt 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?"
|Release Date||:||July 21, 2010|
|Genres||:||Action, Thriller, Crime, Mystery|
|Production Company||:||Columbia Pictures, Di Bonaventura Pictures, Relativity Media, Wintergreen Productions|
|Production Countries||:||United States of America|
|Casts||:||Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Daniel Olbrychski, August Diehl, Corey Stoll, Hunt Block, Yara Shahidi, Gaius Charles, Victor Slezak, Cassidy Hinkle, Zoe Lister-Jones, Nicole Signore, Mardi Jones, Nick Poltoranin, Michelle Ray Smith, Kevin O'Donnell, James Schram, Frosty Lawson, Cecilia Foss, Gary Wilmes, Harry L. Seddon, Marion McCorry, Victoria Cartagena, Hristo Hristov, Zach Shaffer, Jewel Elizabeth, James Cronin, Philip Willingham, Dionne Audain, Angelo Lopez, Ivo Velon, Xavier Rafael, William Henderson White, Ethan Ladd, Tobias Campbell, James Nuciforo, Tika Sumpter, David Agranov|
|Plot Keywords||:||assassination, spy, cia, martial arts, white house, u.s. president, wife husband relationship, shotgun, gun, office, hostage, undercover, sniper, coffin, island, anti hero, cold war, soviet union, strong woman, national security agency, double agent, product placement, revelation, race against time, politics, orphanage, revenge, priest, kidnapping, on the run, fugitive, character name in title, shootout, one word title, espionage, police chase, female protagonist, shot to death, surprise ending, sniper rifle, hitwoman, torture, terrorism, electrocution, impostor, violence, foot chase, woman fights man, interrogation, nuclear war, surveillance, double cross, intrigue, one woman army, knocked out, no opening credits, washington monument, brooklyn bridge, two way mirror, subtitled scene, uzi, frame up, defector, government agent, bulletproof vest, hypodermic needle, kennedy assassination, flash grenade, brain scan, flashback, friendly fire, jumping through a window, russian spy, intelligence officer, vice president, woman dressed as man, action heroine, bruise, cia agent, shooting spree, post cold war, double identity, gun under a table, tanker truck, improvised weapon, bulletproof glass, toxin, gas grenade, assumed dead, river barge|
While I can't say that I was awaiting Angelina Jolie's latest outing with bated breath, I was intrigued by the fact that Salt was originally intended to be a Tom Cruise vehicle.
Tom's waning box office pulling-power aside, this sex-swap was a smart move by writer Kurt Wimmer (Equilibrium) as it gives Jolie the chance to prove that she can lay the smack-down on just as many henchmen as the boys can. Having her rather than him as the duplicitous CIA agent Evelyn Salt, Wimmer gives a fresh angle to a plot that could easily have been a boring instalment of the Bourne series. Salt also sees the welcome return of Russian villains to the cinema after a long period in which Middle Eastern terrorists were severely over-worked.
When a Soviet defector strolls into the CIA and announces that Salt is a sleeper agent who will kill the Russian president, she goes on the run. Fearing for the safety of her husband Michael, Salt sets out to find him before agents Winter (Liev Schreiber) and Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor) catch up with her. The question of where Salt's loyalties lie is the true source of tension and Jolie plays it cool, gaining and dismissing the audience's trust several times over.
Schreiber and Ejiofor draw the short straws in terms of dialogue and simply run after Jolie for the entire movie without doing anything of significance. Hopefully, if the proposed sequel goes ahead, Wimmer will be able to correct this glaring oversight.
The action scenes are sharply directed and Jolie finally gets her hands dirty, particularly in the opening exchanges where she's being tortured in a Korean prison. If that wasn't enough, she also flies down an elevator shaft by leaping from wall to wall it was a silly effect but added a cheesy, fanciful element to what would have been an entirely too serious movie.
Consequently the first 40 minutes are fast and furious as Salt evades her fellow agents by any means necessary but not to be outdone, the rest of the film takes a left turn and continues to surprise with some serious fisticuffs, gun-play and high-speed car chases. Admittedly, for all its skill and enthusiasm, Salt's finale is a little over-the-top and it wanders into well-worn ground without knowing when to stop. Aside from this minor gripe, Salt is a well-directed action movie that delivers us a potential new franchise, an intriguing lead character and an exciting close to a lacklustre summer.