Salt (Phillip Noyce, 2010)

As they said, art imitates life; the recent news about the capture of Russian spy - Anna Chapman and her comrades in United States eerily echoes the Angelina Jolie starring spy thriller Salt. It was Tom Cruise who is supposed to play the lead title at one time but dropped out because it would be too similar to his well known special agent character Ethan Hunt of Mission: Impossible franchise. The script was subsequently altered for Salt to undergo gender change.

Talk about Mrs Pitt, until this movie, I have never really notice what a beauty this lady is, The sultry-eyed, bee stung-lipped, with a killer figure; she look absolutely stunning on the big screen. Her portrayal in this movie allows her to transform from a blonde to fringe brunette to short hair, she even look great in disguising as a man! Angelina Jolie is a bona fide female action stars, step aside Milla Jovovich who is merely a rag doll in the cartoonish Resident Evil movie series. Jolie already has a few action flicks under her belt, she starred in Wanted (Bekmambetov, 2008), Mr. and Mrs. Smith (Liman, 2005) and she also played as Lara Croft character in the two movies based on the video games adaptation.

Who is Salt? That is the tagline flash across the teaser movie poster with Angelina's face. Bundle with the curious trailers, the movie marketing campaign would love to make sure the gullibility in us will search for the answer. From the opening, Salt is rescued from the detention of North Korea. A few years later and happily married to a mild-mannered arachnologist (scientist who study spiders), she seems to work for an oil & gas company. Below the horizon she is a CIA agent, more like an office desk job rather than a field agent. One fine day, a self-claimed Russian spy walks into CIA Centre and declares his defection to US government. He also goes as far as claiming there will be a Russian spy by the name of Evelyn Salt, who will attempt to kill the visiting Russia president soon and kickstart the "Day X", an operation cultivated by the former Soviet Union's KGB officer to overthrow US government.

Before the accusation can be confirmed, all hell breaks loose as the suspected Salt escapes without attempt to clear her name. And thus ensure the exciting on-the-foot and car chases. Hot on her heels are Liev Schreiber as Salt's superior and Chiwetel Ejiofor as another secret government agent. Liev is skeptical about the whole scheme but Chiwetel is adamant to hunt her down. Audience rides the wave with Salt who shows her cat-like reflex by walking and hugging the building ledges and jumping from a moving truck to another one on a highway. By the way, she also do-a-MacGyver by making a bazooka out of office tool.
Although I enjoy a resourceful Evelyn Salt outwits and outmuscles her pursuers, it is quite annoying to see Salt manage to break free every single time after being detained. I think either one should be fired from the job, the careless persons who held Salt under custody, or the movie screenwriter, take your pick.

Why is Salt running from everyone as if she is guilty as charged? Is she really a highly trained Russian spy planted as a mole in CIA? I am sure you will be keen to look for the answers as there will be enough plot twists waiting for you until the end, perhaps spill over to potential sequel. The quest of finding Salt's true identity tag along with heart pounding action sequences made me forego certain plot absurdity. As the retrospective Cold War era reminds us, the sizzling hot Jolie provides the extra spice to Salt.

1 star = Pathetic, SowYau feel ashamed of watching it
2 stars = Off the mark material, approach with caution
3 stars = Generally good, you should watch it if it's your favourite genre
4 stars = excellent, strongly recommended
5 stars = A classic status? only time will tell. But it is definitely in SowYau's Hall of Fame List

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey - I am certainly happy to find this. great job!