Movie Review – Salt

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Angelina Jolie plays Evelyn Salt and she is amazing in this movie. The movie is action-packed from start to finish. There are car chases, explosions, fist fights, assassination attempts, but it’s also a smart movie. It keeps you thinking, wondering, evaluating information right up to the end. The basic story is about Russian sleeper agents – planted in the United States, waiting to be called to action. It is so bizarre that this was just in the headlines. I’m sure this story was written much earlier and the movie was “in the can” before the recent news broke, but the timing couldn’t have been better. I won’t tell you any more of the story, if I told you, I would have to kill you. Only kidding. If I told you, I would spoil the movie and you don’t really need to know anymore than that. Need-to-know basis, ya know?

Salt’s boss is Ted Winter, played by Liev Shrieber, also excellent in this movie. The supporting cast includes Chiwetel Eijiofor and Daniel Olbrychski. While the entire cast turned in good performances, Jolie was clearly the blockbuster. She did many of her own stunts and handled the physical parts of this character extremely well. With a plot of undercover agents, she also conveyed the emotional nuances that the role demanded.

The director is Phillip Noyce and I’m not surprised to learn he directed Patriot Games – another fast paced spy thriller. I liked Patriot Games, but Salt is even better. It was originally written for a man to play the part of Salt, it’s rumored that Tom Cruise was considered. But it’s an incredibly smart twist to make it a woman and Angelina Jolie is one of the few who could make us believe that she could be alternately James Bond, Jack Bauer, MacGuyver, Spiderman, Jill Munroe and Jason Bourne all rolled into one.

In an interesting play on words, the acronym SALT stands for the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks between Russia and the US started in the 1970’s.

For action / spy movie fans, Salt will not disappoint. I would love to see it again!

Grade:  A

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