Sunday, 31 December 2017
This film shouldn't work - but it does. It is cliched, has plot holes the size of a planet and hurtles at a relentless pace as CIA agent Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) runs to evade capture and assassination at the hands of both the CIA and FSB. Salt out does John McClane of Die Hard and even out does Jason Bourne of the Bourne Trilogy(+) fame - she is seemingly indestructible and so resourceful she can escape from any tight squeeze. After only 10 minutes I had worked out the arc of the story and who was who in this double-double cross of a spy film - yet I still enjoyed it!
Tom Cruse was originally cast to play the lead but in the end Cruse felt that the lead character was too like Ethan Hunt from Mission Impossible so withdrew from the project. This is not a film of great artistic merit or intellectual engagement. Neither is it a positive advertisement for a return to the days of the Cold War in which the ideology that drives the story originates. It is nevertheless very entertaining. There are persisting rumours of a sequel or even a TV series on Sony but nothing firm yet.
I appreciate that his kind of film is more like a fantasy story than documentary but the plot does allow for too many last second escapes and the stunts that Salt pulls off would render most people paralysed by half-way through the film. The violence is relentless but lots of it is non-lethal. For a film starring one of Hollywood's most beautiful, the visuals do not exploit Jolie's physical attributes and there are only one or two low-key kisses. The emphasis remains firmly on her role as an all action hero. Even when she does remove her underwear, there is no sexual or romantic intent at all - it's all for the action!
As I said, I liked it - glad I've seen it, but I won't be rushing to order the disc for my collection - just right as a TV movie. If it's on and you have nothing else to do and you enjoy films of this type, then do watch it. I'll give it a 7/10.