Let’s see if it’s worth it’s salt.
The film follows respected CIA agent Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) whose identity is compromised after walk in Russian spy reveals Salt as the Russian undercover assassin who will kill the President of Russia while he attends the funeral of the U.S. Vice President. Fearing for the safety of her husband she goes on the run. Her boss, Ted Winter (Liev Schreiber), is the only one who doesn’t believe she is a double agent, but her actions begin to raise doubts.
The screenplay was originally written for “action man” Tom Cruise, but he refused the role because he feared the role was too similar to Ethan Hunt in the Mission Impossible series. While Tom went off to work with Cameron Diaz on Knight and Day (2010) the production team behind Salt (2010) turned to Angelina Jolie, who is realistically the only person to replace such a high calibre actor as she is well established in action films. Although her performances may have been decent the films she has appeared in have been terrible; Wanted (2008), Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005) and Tomb Raider (2001). Salt is much the same for Jolie and is why I always take Angelina Jolie films with a pinch of salt.
Salt’s narrative is slow, boring and another case of a film that has been ruined by the trailer. Everything that seems interesting in the film is revealed in the trailer and there isn’t enough surprise or emotion in the plot twists, which were far too obvious. What was really aggravating about the film was its premise; the ‘Russians as a threat to Americans’ is a very old convention, which has been over used and is now exhausted. The only thing that should have rescued this film is the action sequences, but due to lacklustre editing and the ridiculous nature of what happens I was left unengaged and uninterested.
The good points in this film are few and far between one of which is Liev Schreiber’s performance as Ted Winter. Unfortunately his role is small and we don’t see a lot of him, but he is the most believable aspect of the whole film. What highlights his performance is that even when his character gets caught up in the farcical storyline his performance remains strong.
Another of the films highlights is effective cinematography. Best displayed in what is the best sequence in the film Salt crashes off of a bridge in slow motion and silent, which is eventually broken with a gasp of air from Jolie as the van hits the floor. Unfortunately neither this nor Liev Schreiber’s performance could rescue the film.
I would like to say that the film was disappointing, but for something to disappoint it must first set up expectation. An unimaginative script, average acting and slow action sequences combine together to create a dull film that gets 3/10.