Saturday, July 24, 2010

Movie Review: Salt

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Once again Angelia Jolie is jumping around on the screen like she's done in past films as Mrs Smith or Lara Croft. Luckily this is not in eye popping 3D so she didn't jump into our laps. It was a good movie to jump into a bucket of popcorn with this summer action flick and don't forget to add the Salt, Evelyn Salt (Jolie)

The tag line for the movie is "Who is Salt?" The movie starts off with Salt stripped down to her underwear being brutally interrogated by the North Koreans as a spy where she proclaims her innocence. Turns out, yeah, she was and worth enough that the US government was willing to do a prisoner trade to get her back. After being roughed up, she's picked up at the border by partner CIA agent Ted Winter (Liev Schreiber). This roughing up and other acts of violence and action earned the movie a PG-13 rating.

Cut forward two years. Salt and Winter are leaving the office. Salt is particularly excited to get ready to go out to dinner with her husband. No wait, I thought agents weren't supposed to have loved ones because they can be used to lure and trap agents by the bad guys. You would think these people would go to movies and know this stuff! Anyway, a Russian agent turned himself in and while being questioned by Salt he accuses her of being a Russian agent who will kill the Russian President. Whoa! Either she has had her cover blown or she's being set up. In either case, she just wants to get home to hubby. Her fellow agents try to stop her but she insists and follows through on getting her way to get back to her apartment.

Walking on ledges, jumping off moving trains, hopping between the roofs of trucks traveling down the interstate, we see that Salt has skills, mad skills that she's willing to employ to prove her innocence. She says she's being set up but her actions make her look all the more guilty. Agents Winter and Peabody (Chiwetel Eijofor) argue the point back and forth. You know there's more than meets the eyes when a blond dyes her hair black to try to hide her identity. Some of the action was over the top, but made more enjoyable and believable with the limited use of CGI.

Directed by Phillip Noyce who gave us Patriot Games and The Bone Collector he strings us along on the journey in one way straight forward action flick but using flash backs to help fill in back story. Is Salt being falsely accused or is she a double agent? Noyce leads us down the trail for 100 minutes. It didn't seem like that long of a journey so he did a good job keeping me interested in the character and plot. The story was left in such a way that a sequel is more than likely if it does well at the box office. In one way the timing of the movie couldn't have been better with the recent capture of Russian spies who had integrated into American culture and sent back across the globe in a spy swap. Movie meet real life!

Could Evelyn Salt be a female James Bond? I don't think this would be a bad idea. She's got the marriage thing out of the way just like Bond did. She's got fighting skills that are up there. Sex appeal, put a check in that box. The only thing she really didn't have was the equivalent of a Q to make her all sorts of gadgets and gizmoes galore. If you could get her out of locations like frumpy North Korea and boring New York City and Washington DC and drop her into places like Tahiti, Monte Carlo, the beaches of Sao Paulo, now that would be awesome! With fingers crossed, we'll have to wait and see!

The Movie Monkey

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