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SALT (2010)

A 2010 movie starring Angelina Jolie

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Is "SALT" A Condiment Or A Spice For ACTION ?!

  • Jul 24, 2010
Rating:
+3
Oh my, you wouldn’t believe how many times we’ve seen the set up for the new movie starring Angelina Jolie “SALT”. Quite frankly, I wasn't expecting much from this action-thriller by Philip Noyce (Patriot Games); the movie does rely on a very standard set up but has loads of action sequences. “Salt” isn’t awesome, but if you are looking for a straight-forward action-thriller, then it does somewhat deliver as an action movie. Plus, it is always fun to see Angelina Jolie kick some butt.

Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) is a C.I.A. operative who has done quite a lot for her country and for this, she has become well-respected. However, when a Russian defector (Daniel Olbryshski) shows up in the agency’s front door and claims that Salt is a Russian sleeper agent who has been hiding in plain sight and until the right moment has come to strike. Salt denies the accusation and is somewhat given the benefit of a doubt by her Boss, Ted Winter (Liev Schreiber) but is detained by counterintelligence agent Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor, Redbelt). Salt escapes and for fear that her cover may have been compromised, she races to her husband’s side. But there may be more to Evelyn Salt than meets the eye? Is she a patriot or is she truly a spy…or does she have her own agenda? One thing’s for certain, Salt is extremely dangerous…

                    Angelina Jolie as Evelyn Salt in "Salt."

“Salt” takes inspiration from spy thrillers such as the “Bourne” franchise, and does feel like a female side of Jason Bourne. There is just something so cool and sexy when you see a great-looking woman do jaw-dropping stunts, kinetic fight sequences and exude raw attitude. Jolie is the right woman for the job, she is in familiar ground as the film‘s mysterious super-agent and she feels right at home with the fight sequences as with “Wanted”. The film channels Jolie’s charisma and gives action junkies the action they are looking for. Salt leaps across buildings, jumps on moving vehicles, kicks a whole lot of ass, and causes a lot of explosions and mayhem. “Salt” does some incredible things and it is a film that does look good; for those looking for action, the action is there and Jolie looks real good doing it while sporting a ’Cher-like” hairdo.

                        Chiwetel Ejiofor as Peabody and Liev Schreiber as Ted Winter in "Salt."

                       Angelina Jolie as Evelyn Salt in "Salt."

I have to give the direction by Philip Noyce (Patriot Games) some credit, he does manage to do some effective foreshadowing, as even I felt unsure as to what Evelyn Salt really is. Salt’s claims of innocence does appear credible enough, but her actions place her in doubt. One minute, she is running from her former allies, the next she appears to be making plans to fulfill a mission and then once again she does something else that makes one doubt her credibility. Noyce doesn’t tip his hand too soon, the viewer may see things become predictable as they go, but it serves to entice; things only become clear near the film’s climax. Too bad it doesn’t last...

The film loses its gas past the halfway point, as the film’s script becomes filled with convenient devices, contrivances, and it seems to break its own rules. Wimmer is also the one responsible for “Law Abiding Citizen” and he once again falls to some issues that makes his movies become dumb near the movie‘s climax. I am not sure, those text messages just seemed a little too convenient and the dialogue became too obligatory for my tastes. Once the film goes into its revelations piece by piece, things fall apart and the movie becomes your stereotypical spy flick that requires a huge suspension of disbelief. Once Noyce takes “Salt” out of the realm of stunts and explosions, the piece by piece details become uninteresting and the twists and turns feel a little cheap.

          Angelina Jolie in "Salt."

         Angelina Jolie as Evelyn Salt in "Salt."

Much of the film’s characterization comes in the form of flashbacks and despite the pitfalls of the film’s last 40 minutes, Angelina Jolie keeps up her dynamic energy that maintains some momentum. It is to her credit that she manages to appear credible despite the U-turn in its last few minutes. I did see quite a few plot missteps (How can you look like a Russian when one is supposed to be trying to remain incognito?), but Jolie was charismatic enough to make me care a tad less. The film does also make use of some ‘shaky camera work’ which may help or hamper some of the film’s sequences. I did however, have some mixed feelings about the film’s soundtrack; but I thought, it does have a cold war theme to it, so maybe it was intentional that it sounded that way.

“SALT” isn’t going to be a classic. But despite the fact that the plot collapsed in upon itself, I was never bored with the film and while I thought some elements were predictable, it did keep me interested. Some plot devices were admittedly a little too cheap and some twists and turns felt forced, but it did serve up some surprises. I guess you can blame it on me being enthralled with a gorgeous female kicking butt…so there you are. “SALT” is a film that needs a little more spice but it was entertaining…as long as you can look past some of its silliness in its script.

Recommended timidly, RENT it First [3+ Out of 5 Stars]
 













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January 03, 2011
Agreed! I think she's confused, haha! Oh well, it's just pure entertainment. Watched it on DVD and it'll be out of my mind soon enough! ;-)
 
August 20, 2010
Excellent review as always. I just aw this movie and have to say that I actually quite enjoyed it "SALT" turned out to be one of the better action pictures to come out in the last few years and it did certainly keep me intrigued throughout with its story.
 
August 02, 2010
I didn't like Wanted either.
August 02, 2010
I remember your review LOL! For me "Wanted" was fun but so much a H-wood treatment of the comic book.
 
July 27, 2010
Aw, I thought this was going to be amazing! Oh well, it still sounds pretty good. As for condiment or spice, I may just find out :P Thanks for sharing, Woo!
July 27, 2010
he-heh. This was alright, I just cannot give it a solid rec since the 2nd half collapsed on itself. Thanks, Lady D! You the best!
 
July 27, 2010
Was never too interested in viewing this film despite all the hype. The only thing I like about Jolie is that in high school I had guy friends who compared me to her, lol! I'm not sure why or how...we look nothing alike. :-P Nice write-up, William!
July 27, 2010
LOL! I guess...I was a little aggressive in my youth toward the guys I liked. :-P
July 27, 2010
uh-oh. I like aggressive women in H.S. and please don't ask me how I get the attention of the girls I like LOL!
July 27, 2010
@AerinBlue In my defense, they were pretty mean with their nerdy comments about me and such. I usually just playfully punched them or stole their school items or something cute. The only time I went a little overboard was when one guy said I couldn't pick him up and trashcan him. That challenge was more a matter of pride. ;)

@woopak_the_thrill: LOL! Now you've got me all curious!!
July 27, 2010
LOL! Yes, he did want someone to ask. Now, we are all ears, or in this case eyes, waiting for the answer. ;)

Yeah, their comments really stung...I used to come home crying practically everyday because of one guy named Shawn, lol! My mom would always tell me to read that "Men Are From Mars, Women are from Venus book." 

The trash can incident came about because I really can't stand people, especially guys, who say a girl can't do something. So, I just had to do it. It was really funny/cute. I wasn't being mean, per say, I just wanted him to know I could do it.

Imagine my surprise to find myself in a relationship with one of these same guys from high school!! It's mind-boggling how age makes us wise. ;)

Your examples sound pretty normal. I bet the guy who got pushed into the stream of water didn't like getting wet, lol! I'm sure they deserved it too. I'm pretty sure you are not the type to lash out unless you have a very good reason. I consider myself the same way. :)
July 27, 2010
I was a bitch-on-wheels in high school - I was very tiny and got tired of the jokes so I would smack 'em in mouth. They stopped...ha!! Boys can be so cruel and it sounds like they deserve to be thrown in the water and trashcans and all that good stuff!! LOL
July 27, 2010
Nice! You go, Brenda! :)
July 28, 2010
Aerin you're a hoot! LOL You're bad self would have made me a perfect sidekick!! I went to school with some mean kids I'll tell ya. The wedgie part would have been perfect - Ha!! Now that I'm older and wiser, I don't use violence anymore; instead I use my "Evil Eye" look - it's pretty scary.......
July 28, 2010
PS - I wonder if Woo will condemn us in the future from reading his movie reviews?!?!? Ha
July 28, 2010
never....the power of toe-sies compells you!! LMAO
July 29, 2010
I bet Aerin and Brenda would have made awesome high school heroes. I can see the comic book now... "Bad Self and Shorty, lol." I'm sure William is enjoying all this debacle as much as me. :)
July 29, 2010
It's nice to find something to laugh about, lol. :)
July 29, 2010
(wiggling my toes) :)
July 29, 2010
(laughs) You're toes are too funny. :)
 
July 24, 2010
Great review WP, I was not expecting much from this flick. I am not really a huge Angelina Jolie fan.
July 25, 2010
Really? Jolie has talent but she seems stuck with roles that appear the same. Give it a rental ar least.
 
July 24, 2010
I agree with Count Orlok - I'll skip anything with Jolie in it - she plays tough characters that just don't seem realistic to me. Great review though!!!!!
July 24, 2010
I think for the most part, Jolie has been typecast. She has the talent and yet the offers she gets are the usual stereotypical action hero--easy to do since aside from Jovovich, which actress else can do action movies with some credibility? Thanks for the read, Brenda.

I really liked Jolie is Girl Interrupted, Gia and Changeling...I guess I am just showing my weakness, since I like seeing a woman who can kick my butt. LOL!
July 24, 2010
I think she likes being typecast - she's one of those who loves the attention, but I agree with you she is the type to do those type of roles and she's good at it - I suppose I just am not that into those kinds of roles, regardless if they're men or women. Thanks Woo!!
July 24, 2010
I didn't see the Changeling yet, but I'm sure I would have liked her in that kind of movie better. I did like her with Denzel Washington in The Bone Collector; she was a little tough in that movie, in an intelligent way instead of physical ways, yet she had realistic fears also. And you the typical male liking to see a women all tough and all that! LOL
July 24, 2010
I love women with toughness...it's like "I wanna be with you but don't need to be with you" type of deal. I was just telling my friend the other day that most of my ex'es are the types who don't care to get some dirt in their fingers and plays no games.
July 24, 2010
Ah yes, the "bitch" woman stereotype - those are the women that can intrigue a man with their "You will play no mind games with me..period" and ones that don't act prissy, yet are tender at the same time. I can describe that perfectly because I am one of those...LOL...but, there is a difference between strong-minded personality and beating the crap out of you..no?? LOL
July 24, 2010
that is true. I guess I just admire one with a strong personality but quite gentle. One thing's for sure, if you want me to lose interest--play games with me LOL! I guess being beat to crap by a woman is no fun--but it is fun in movies LOL!
July 24, 2010
Yeah I can see that a man would love to watch someone like Jolie in the movies -- it's called Fantasizing LOL -- bless your heart!! But you are right also about the strong personalities -- weak ones lose the interest of a man quickly, and there's nothing more fun than a strong feisty woman playing around with a man (in a joking way only) and his mind to create a little bit of fun friction between the 2 of them -- a woman should never be predictable.
July 24, 2010
Thanks Aerin -- I have been wanting to see that one, but never got around to it, but you have definitely sparked my interest!! Thanks Aerin...
July 24, 2010
I like women with spunk and sassiness...I don't immature ones who act like they're in High school...."gee, he's so into me that I can ignore him.." and then when the guy loses interest, their egos can't take it. It's funny how folks are so different, makes the world more interesting.
July 24, 2010
I couldn't agree with you more!! Spunk and sassiness are wonderful qualities!! And speaking of Jolie, I know that she and Johnny Depp were making a movie together (I don't know the name of it or if it's still going to be made) but I read where Jolie got very irritated and felt humiliated with my man Depp because "he just wasn't that into her" - kind of reminds me of what you said about the high school-type girl!!
July 24, 2010
I guess that is why I am still single again...a woman has to be a little crazy to like me, they're a rare breed LOL!
July 25, 2010
Aerin - OK The Tourist - I couldn't remember, and you're right, there is a hot love scene in the movie; in fact, my man Depp's partner Vanessa did not want him to do the movie at all because of Jolie - with the rep of being a man stealer and all that, but I guess he did it anyway. The fact that she got upset cause he wasn't into her just shows how much of a show off she is (I hate women like that) - poor Jolie - she's so used to getting what she wants LOL Woo - don't worry about being single again - at least you're not boring and predictable!!
July 25, 2010
Brenda and Aerin, Depp probably did the scene because he is in control and besides, no matter what anyone says, a man has a choice--if they want to cheat they'll cheat.

...as for being single again, I am actually enjoying it. :)
July 26, 2010
Aerin and Woo: Oh I know -- I agree with the both of you!! I was just stating what I had heard because we were on the subject of Jolie.....Depp has the reputation for being faithful to his women and he is obviously committed to his partner and since Jolie was upset that he wasn't that into her proves that!! Yes, a man does have his own choice and I was actually glad he did the movie anyway -- so he could prove to his lady that she had nothing to worry about.
July 26, 2010
Just remember something guys... sometimes when directors and producers cast they're not looking for an "actor" they're looking for a "character."   That's what it means to typecast.  When Hollywood needs a wise old man in a film, they call up Morgan Freeman.  When they need a guy to kick ass they get Jason Statham.  Because sometimes they're just looking for someone who can do what they want them to do.  Not someone to act in a particular role.  Directors like--sometimes NEED--that in some people. 

So the, "I don't like because they play the same role..." type stuff, I'm confused by because it's something that the industry actually kind of sort of needs.  And if you're GOOD at playing that kind of role... then it makes casting for a director easier.  And let's be honest, sometimes we like a character when they're cast in some of the same roles.  How do we know?  Go to the forums of the imdb.  For every person who might post that an actor is playing the same role there are a multitude of post from people saying how they LOVE that.  How if you need a wise old man, you should get Morgan Freeman (Morgan Freeman has almost NEVER branched out into something different, even in those Batman movies he's the same old guy).  Or if you want someone to play a badass you get Samuel L. Jackson.

It's rather nice for Directors to be able to do that. And while it makes us appreciate the acting styles of someone such as Johnny Depp (even he gets typecast... people get Depp because they want someone eccentric and strange most times--Edward Scissorhands, Willy Wonka, the Mad Hatter... it's why Tim Burton likes him, and why he made the cast and crew of Pirates of the Caribbean so nervous) or other actors who seem to be able to do almost anything (Kevin Spacey) it also means that we're not appreciating sheer entertainment value.  So I don't mind when actors are cast in the same particular role.  There are more "characters" out there than actual "actors".  As long as they're not trying to something they can't, I don't really care. 

But I learned about it in a film class.  You have "Character Actors" (who play the same "character" over and over again) and you have "Actor Stars" (who have range and can do anything).  Most times you're going to find "Character Actors."  They're the easiest to come by and it means that certain people be themselves.
July 27, 2010
Thanks Aerin - I agree with you completely. Sean, I agree with you on the Character Actor stuff; the only thing is, what kind of character does each individual really like to see? I personally don't like any too-tough character types, male or female, but everyone likes something different. It is true that my man Depp is typecast (I just adore him) into quirky characters, but on the other hand, he can play any kind of role that he wants to play by putting in his own mind-set. There were many movies he played in where he wasn't quirky; Blow and some others for example. The reason everyone got nervous about Pirates was because he played the role his own way, not the Charlton Heston type they wanted him to play, which says to me he is an Actor Star. He likes playing those roles for reasons of his own, not just because he is "cast" in those roles. John Travolta is good example of an Actor Star that you mentioned; he can play good guy, bad guy, anything he wants and is very convincing at any role he plays. Robert DeNiro can also play comedy, drama, whatever. While I agree with you on lots of things you said, some people just prefer actors that can broaden their horizons, and Jolie is not one of them, but only in my opinion. If one likes that type of character, I would say she's great at these roles, but she can also play other roles good as well; I heard the Changeling was good, (haven't seen that one yet!) and I saw her in The Bone Collector with Denzel Washington as a different type of character, and she was good, so I believe she could broaden herself if she wanted; as you said, it means certain people are being themselves.
July 27, 2010
Oh yeah -- I saw Monster and she was fabulous - I wouldn't have even known it was her - I always liked her; wonder where has she been? I also loved her in Devil's Advocate - come to think of it, I have liked all her movies.
 
July 24, 2010
If it's got Jolie, I'll skip it.
July 24, 2010
don't like Jolie? Hmmm...
July 24, 2010
Nope, other than "Changeling" I really can't stand her. She plays the same characters over and over again and relies too heavily on her physical appearance rather than her acting.
July 24, 2010
I can see that...she has the talent but I think she gets the roles that H-wood makes her take advantage of her looks... typical. Hey, have you seen the series "Dexter"?
July 24, 2010
I watched one episode during a free preview of Showtime, but that's it. Why?
July 24, 2010
a friend of mine got me hooked. I am watching season 3 now...pretty good writing.
July 24, 2010
Lately my viewing habits have been kind of retro. I'm mainly watching "The Prisoner" and "MacGyver". I like the older stuff more typically.
 
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More Salt (movie) reviews
review by . May 08, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
There are some movies that are so bad that they are good (Wanted - another Jolie movie) and there are some movies that even with a huge budget are just plain awful. This movie falls in the latter category. Not only was this movie an insult to the viewer's intelligence but it was mostly boring throughout.    Evelyn Salt may have been recruited early on by the Russians as a Russian mysteriously shows up at CIA headquarters and tells Evelyn in front of CIA witnesses that she was …
review by . December 15, 2010
From Russian spies to sweetly epic sequences Salt is a true spy movie that under the right circumstances could do a real punch in Inception's box office take. The plot can be somewhat predictable at times but like this year's earlier film From Paris with Love it had some distinct moments of absolute badassery. Angelina Jolie plays Evaline Salt a lead interrogator for a branch of the CIA. The movie begins with Salt being beaten in a North Korean prison where she is being thought as a spy, …
review by . February 01, 2011
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** out of ****     "Salt" is the kind of film that I only pondered because (1.) spy films can be pretty fun to watch, and (2.) the critical reception was mixed (Roger Ebert wrote a very favorable review giving the film four stars, while another favorite critic of mine, Roger Moore, was much less favorable). I wanted to like "Salt", I really did. But upon seeing the thing, I have nothing to say about it beyond the fact that it's a big fat piece of mediocrity. Perhaps I lied; I …
review by . July 25, 2010
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There are certain movies out there in Hollywood that take themselves seriously.  That ask you to believe what you're seeing on screen.  And in essence these movies typically tend to try and be believable.  Steven Spielberg's Raiders of the Lost Ark comes to mind with these kind of movies.  As do film's such as Nolan's Batman movies.  The happenings in these movies the director tries to make seem real.  SALT on the other hand, isn't one of those movies.  …
review by . July 23, 2010
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Needed a pinch more.
The tagline for SALT poses the question, “Who is Salt?” and after sitting through the incredibly fast-paced spy thriller, I can honestly say that I have no idea who this Salt chick is really.  I can say that the movie that is named for her is riddled with plot holes but when the heroine is as hot and adept at avoiding those holes as Angelina Jolie is, I don’t think it really matters.   When I see a Jolie action film, I’m not looking for anything particularly …
review by . August 31, 2010
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3 1/2 Stars:
Action thrillers have always had a special place in the hearts of esteemed moviegoers of all ages they share not only the joys of having something blowing up in your face   every ten to 40 minutes but they also give you great and memorable action sequences and characters. Such as "Die Hard"(1988), "Minority Report"(2002), "Mission: Impossible"(1996)," Mission: Impossible III"(2006), "Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark "(1982),  …
review by . July 23, 2010
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Isn't it amazing how we play the entertainment card to make excuses for preposterous films? We as audiences will buy into a whole host of cinematic flaws as long as there are sights and sounds to keep us amused, and in all honesty, I don't know whether or not I mean that as a criticism. Maybe it's just what is. "Salt," like so many summer action movies before it, is a fun thrill-a-minute stunt caper, and yet it possesses not a single shred of plausibility. It's one of those movies that gives you …
review by . July 30, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
It was a decent manifestation (copy) of a great book, The Invisible Enemy: Black Fox by Dept of Defense insider Anthony R Howard. I guess movies never live up to the hype of books, but SALT just didn't do this book justice. The book went deeper into the background and technology. Book kept me on the edge of my seat. This was a good movie, but the book was exhilarating. A bit of the plot was foreseeable, however I thought Jolie really sold her role. Foremost, the marketing team did a great job …
Quick Tip by . January 09, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Loads of action and good actors making it a really entertaining movie...but the ending....yuck i didnt like it
Quick Tip by . January 03, 2011
Better than I had expected. At the least, I had not been bored and was actually well entertained. It's quick paced, lots of action and keeps one wondering as to what is really happening although when it comes to emotional responses, I do think that it is lacking. However, who really knows what goes behind the mind of spies?!
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Salt is a 2010 American action thriller film directed by Phillip Noyce, written by Kurt Wimmer and Brian Helgeland, and starring Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Jolie plays Evelyn Salt, accused of being a KGB sleeper agent, on the run to try to clear her name. While Tom Cruise was initially secured for the lead, he was unable to commit to the role because of commitments to other projects, and the script was ultimately rewritten for Jolie.

Filming took place on location in Washington, DC and New York City between March and June 2009. Jolie was taken to the hospital after suffering a head injury on set but was released the same day where filming resumed. The film will have a panel at the San Diego Comic-Con on July 22 and will be released in North America on July 23, 2010, and August 20, 2010, in the United Kingdom.
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Details

Director: Phillip Noyce
Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: 23 July 2010 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Kurt Wimmer
Runtime: 100 minutes
Studio: Columbia Pictures
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