Salt, starring A-list actress Angelina Jolie and the incredibly talented and very underrated Liev Schrieber, opened on Friday, July 23 to huge crowds. While the film does have its faults, it is pure, action-fueled, edge of your seat fun that can’t be missed.
The story follows title character, Evelyn Salt (Jolie), on a wild ride packed with twists and turns. Salt appears, at first, to be a loyal CIA agent; but as the plot unwinds, she is accused of being a Russian spy and questions arise as to where her loyalties lie. Salt goes on the run, eluding capture with one action packed sequence after another. Unfortunately, these action packed sequences do grow a little dry after awhile, blending together into a chaotic jumble of running, jumping, and narrowly escaping. Director Philip Noyce seems to doubt the intelligence of his viewers and instead of providing a substantially developed plot goes for lots of bangs and booms.
If, however, the viewer is able to take Salt for what it is – a fun but forgettable roller-coaster ride – it is actually quite enjoyable. The plot will leave even the most enthusiastic of action film buffs guessing until the very end. While Jolie’s acting is, as usual, quite impressive, she’s not given much to work with emotionally, making her character feel a little flat. The brief interactions she has with her husband are, by far, the most emotionally powerful scenes of the film. Schrieber’s role as her boss, Ted Winter, is quite compelling, as is the performance given by the often under-appreciated Chiwetel Ejiofor (Peabody).
This movie will obviously not be winning any Oscars, but it’s definitely a fun summer view. Theatergoers should load up on the popcorn (with plenty of salt) and sit back for 100 minutes of fluffy but enjoyable fun.