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SALT (2010)

A 2010 movie starring Angelina Jolie

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Miss Pouty Lips does Bourne.

  • Feb 1, 2011
** 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 have a lot to say about the film despite the fact that I didn't even enjoy it all that much. After all, "nothing" does not accumulate to "something", and you must have something to have a movie review, right? This movie definitely wants to be something more than your average Hollywood-produced action flick, but all in all it disappoints on so many levels. Whether it's trying to deliver a kick-ass action sequence or bombarding us with suitably absurd dialogue, "Salt" does not seem to know where it's going. Is this film supposed to be cheesy, or are we really supposed to take its ludicrous twists seriously? Alas, here is a film that I don't understand. Not because it has a confusing story, which it doesn't; but rather because it jumps around from one thing to another expecting us to want to watch the whole mess it leaves behind unfold. This action flick is messy; and not in a particularly good way. With that being said, there are some reasons to consider watching it, since I expect people will have different opinions depending on who they are. Angelina Jolie, the lovely leading lady, is particularly endearing and actual fits the role of her character, despite the lack of depth in the woman's persona. Jolie has a wide-variety of talent, and this is a film that she was suited for. But she's also the film's problem at times. Switching gears from the "good" to the overwhelmingly "meh", the fact that Angelina Jolie is in this film already makes it average. If the director had chosen a better actress or actor to star in his potentially entertaining film, it could have been a lot better than it is. It's difficult to take an Angelina Jolie-spy movie seriously, and while the actress has done better, this is not one of her better efforts. Now, switches gears yet again, this time focusing on the good; "Salt" isn't a bad film. But then again, it's not a good one either. You know what; it's decent, and that's the only word that can possibly describe it. It's not particularly unpleasant, but it can be plenty boring. The action scenes weren't quite as explosive as they were made out to be, and the film just isn't entertaining as a whole. I won't tell you to avoid it, but "Salt" is alas, somewhat of a dud.

Evelyn Salt is a spy who is on the run after she is suspected to be a Russian Agent sent to carry out a plan that will destroy America. She is being chased by her fellow agents. Through flashbacks, we learn that Salt was a part of an organization which collected children and trained them to be weapons of mass destruction. Thus, Salt is indeed the person who she is suspected of being. She returns to her master and turns on her own "kin". After this brief encounter, she confronts a fellow Agent and learns a huge but absurd secret (that's supposed to be some sort of "twist" in the plot). In fear that I'll be criticized for spoiling too much, this is as much as I'm going to reveal. "Salt" doesn't have too good of a story. It is one full of twists and turns, none of which are as interesting or engaging as they probably should be. So does that make "Salt" a bad movie? No, it does not. But there's not enough here to make up for such flaws, and the entire thing just feels unoriginal and deprived of all fun. Some may like the style, but I don't like the movie. And the worst part is that it leaves room for a sequel, although the good news is that Phillip Noyce is not directing. This could be a good thing, as long as they hire a better writer than Kurt Wimmer next time around. His absurd plot is almost too much to bear. There were parts of "Salt" that felt right and then far more parts that felt wrong, and I always hate such an unholy combination. Movies need to be good, not mediocre. I would personally give "Salt" a skip, for it is not for everyone, but there were some points in which I felt it had something good going for it. The film's flaw was keeping this good thing consistent, and in doing so it might as well have been an utter failure. In the end it's merely mediocre.

I am not the biggest fan of Jolie, so imagine my surprise when her Salt character happened to be one of her richest roles in a long time. Jolie has such a rough past with me as a movie-goer because she's been in so many mediocre flicks, and then in several good ones as well. She doesn't seem to work well with other actors, and the beauty of this film is that in "Salt", she doesn't have to. As an individual, I do indeed praise Jolie's performance. She brings life to this movie; the kind that has long since been sucked out of the actual film. Angelina Jolie's performance isn't that great, but it's good none the less. She actually has some pretty entertaining sequences; each of which counts as some of the best in the entire feature film. But she's not quite enough to make the movie work. Her only other co-star is Liev Schreiber, who I've liked for quite some time despite the mediocre films he's been in recently. He's good in "Salt", and even though the big twist involving him is absurd as hell, he doesn't seem phased by its own idiotic and illogical qualities. And that's always a good thing.

"Salt" is fairly entertaining for quite some time, as most mediocre Blockbusters are. It's not a film entirely made for profit and profit alone; as there seems to be some directorial skill that went into the production. It's just that it can't earn its stripes when it's so gosh-darn generic, and you'd have to be pretty damn crazy to take the movie itself as seriously as some have. However, while it's somewhat entertaining, it's never interesting. In fact, when it's not a mildly entertaining chase-flick, it's a boring attempt at an action-n'-dialogue driven spy film. That's what I don't like about it. "Salt" knows not of what it should be doing. And yet it's not even a "bad" movie; it's just not a good enough one to keep me satisfied. There's some charm to it, but not nearly enough as I would have wanted. However, if it seems interesting to you, then check it out. Some of the action is as explosive as the advertisements say they are, and there are indeed some good thrills to be found here. It's just that each one is short-lived and completely forgettable aside from the fact that "Salt" is just too mediocre for my liking. If there's one more thing I could possibly like about it, then it would be the look of the production, which is actually quite fantastic. It's a little better than most Hollywood flicks, although it's not artistically or even wonderfully shot. All-in-all, an average film. Some have led me to believe that it could be one of 2010's worst films, although I completely disagree. It's not even that bad of a movie, it's just not one that I should have given me time to. Take this thriller as you will.

Come on, Phillip Noyce. I think we've all seen this movie before. Trying to put Jolie in a "Bourne" situation is not exactly smart, and in this case it just doesn't work. "Salt" is not as good or as bad as it probably should be, and that might make all the difference for some, but it's one of the bigger disappointment of 2010. I expected that perhaps I would actually like the thing, and then there was a part of me saying that "It's going to be a disappointment like the other 90% of films that release each year". I will not call "Salt" bad. It is NOT bad. But you know what; it's so ridiculous and bland that perhaps it is devoid of the kind of fun that it should be chock-full of. I can't say I hate it. I can't say I even disliked it. But in times like these, I cannot say I liked it either. "Salt" is just too generic for me, and I could have spent my time elsewhere. Not the worse way to spend a Hundred minutes, but not the best way either. Overall, not very recommended, but do not miss out on it just because I didn't enjoy it...at least not completely. "Salt" may indeed be worth your while; it's just a matter of who you are and what your preference is. You will probably go in to the movie as I did; expecting a non-stop action thriller with plenty of interesting moments. You will get nothing and like it, or perhaps in this case, you will not. But for people that like Jolie, this is the film for you. It holds no surprises, and some people don't like surprises, thus it might actually appeal to you. It's also so absurd that it almost works, and for some it will actually be good due to its narrative flaws. But I'm far too smart to mistake mediocrity for greatness, and "Salt" doesn't really want to be either. It fits right in there with the rest of the 2010 disappointments, but that does not by any means excuse "Salt" from being the COMPLETELY forgettable actioner that it truly is. I wonder what the sequel could possibly build upon. I guess we shall have to wait and see.

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February 01, 2011
LMAO! Now that's a review headline!! sweet review!!
More Salt (movie) reviews
review by . July 24, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
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 …
review by . May 09, 2011
   As I sat with my girlfriend on her futon, absently thumbing through netflix's idea of what movies I would like, I came upon "Salt," starring Angelina Jolie.  Now we did not immediately decide our pick, as it stood along such titles as "Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus," and "The Suite Life Movie," but - being in a cloak and dagger kind of mood - we opted for the spy/action flick.      We open with Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) being …
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 . July 25, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
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
posted in Movie Hype
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
posted in Movie Hype
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
posted in Movie Hype
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
About the reviewer
Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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About this movie


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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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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