By Karen Posada
Salt is THE summer’s action flick. No other actress can do an action film like Angelina Jolie, she gives an amazing performance in this one. We haven’t seen a movie by her since Wanted and that was pretty much a preview to what you can expect from her in Salt. The script was made originally for a male lead, it is rumored that Tom Cruise turned it down, which is a good thing because I doubt a male lead would have made it as successful. The movie will keep you guessing the entire running time up to the end. The one question running through your mind at every turn of the movie is: how will she get out of this one?
Since the beginning we realize that CIA officer Evelyn Salt (Jolie) is a tough female, the movie begins with her capture by the North Korean government, they try to beat the loyalty out of her, but can’t. We shortly meet Ted Winter (Liev Schreiber)her boss at the CIA and friend, he’s along on her side throughout most of the movie trying to help her. After we get a brief backstory on Salt’s life both the private and professional sides of it, we are in Washington D.C. in CIA headquarters where we meet Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor). As a CIA counter-intelligence agent he is not sympathetic to anyone specially to Salt after she is accused of being a sleeper Russian spy and she runs away to avoid being captured. This is when the action begins and where we are left to wonder: ‘who is Salt?’
Salt is married to an entomologist who is fully aware of her career path and the risks that are involved. He is one of the few reasons we ever see this character be soft, the rest of it is all tough CIA training from the fights to her assertive actions.In fact, this female character is the one that carries all the action of the movie, the other two secondary characters Winter and Peabody do very little physical work. Salt’s independence and kick-ass attitude is what keeps her going.
Jolie prepared for this character by talking to former CIA agents such as Melissa Boyle Mahle who worked for the force for 16 years. She spoke of Jolie’s relentlessness of getting every aspect of the character right, asking her how she felt and what she went through; she learned how spies live. Although Mahle says Jolie in the film makes it look way more fun and glamours than it really is. Oleg Kalugin a former KGB member and spy said Salt is very real, and she is tough like a Russian spy. Tom Ridge former Secretary of Homeland security spoke of the realities of the film as seen by current events and how the government has dealt with it since the Cold-War.
If you are into action films this one is for you, it is pure entertainment. There’s bits and pieces of romance in the way but it doesn’t disrupt the action. You can compare it to current events but remember this is hollywood, which means that nothing is to be taken to heart. The main subject here is loyalty, towards family, country, beliefs etc; which is what keeps the movie going and will keep you wondering.
Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action.
Release Date: 2010-07-23
Screenplay: Kurt Wimmer, Brian Helgeland
Official Website: http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/salt/