It’s been a few weeks since I’ve seen Salt. I’m embarrassed to say that twelve year mild preoccupation with Angelina Jolie still has the power to get me to see her films opening weekend. Granted, not Friday night, but a Saturday matinée. The time has, however, allowed me to thoroughly process what I saw, and remove any sort emotions that would have made a review biased. This is what I’ve come up with: Salt sucks.
Immediately upon leaving the theatre, I would have had a different opinion, and mumbled something about how the script wasn’t Jolie’s fault, and her performance salvaged the weak plot. I do still hold that she did the best with what she was given. Unfortunately, she wasn’t given much. And it can clearly be attributed both to Kurt Wimmer (Sphere, Law Abiding Citizen) who wrote the script, and director Phillip Noyce (The Bone Collector, Rabbit-Proof Fence).
The plot is as formulaic as action films go. Jolie plays Evelyn Salt, a CIA agent, who’s accused by a Russian defector of being a sleeper agent still around from the Cold War. Is she? Or isn’t she? You’ll have to wait and see, but it does seem suspicious that she goes on the run immediately after this accusation.
I’ll give props to Wimmer for this throwback to the Cold War. There are plenty of movies already about it, but I’m so damn tired of movies based on Iraq and Afghanistan that any change of pace is welcomed. And this movie coinciding with the discovery of real Russian agents planted in the US for years is a lucky, and intriguing course of events that whets the appetite for this sort of film. But would it have killed you, Wimmer, to not write like a hack? Seriously.
And what the hell happened to Chiwetel Ejoifor. His career started out so promising. Now he’s showing up in second rate action films, and stuff like 2012. I get it, he has to pay the bills. Liev Schreiber was pretty disappointing as well, playing Salt’s uber-boring boss with a monotone voice. The studio basically didn’t end the film so, once reviewing the films gross, they can plan, or cancel any forthcoming sequels. The whole thing felt like a sham, and although I got to ogle Jolie doing some pretty cool stunts and fight scenes for two hours, I feel dumber for watching it. And even more foolish for being twenty five and going to see this alone. I’ve made myself sad now.