WARNING: Contains spoilers
Finally! I finally got to watch SALT, the most anticipated movie of the year so far. I watched the trailer close to 3 months ago and since then, with the exception of Inception, I’ve had to sit through a lot of the crap that movie houses were dishing out. SALT finally came to town and I ran, literally, to the theater to watch it.
SALT is an action movie and Angelina Jolie spends a fair amount of time running, then jumping from one truck to another before she bounces from a wall to kick some serious butt. The entire plot of the movie, however, is revealed in the trailer, in a relatively placid scene where Orlov the Russian defector informs Salt, that she is a Russian spy.
What follows is the inevitable sequence of foot and car chases, point blank gun shots that never hit Salt and her use of improvised weapons (I want to learn how to mix my cooking oil and shoe polish to make a weapon. Is there a manual for this?) to aid her escape.
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The plot is rather predictable. Every time there is an off-screen gunshot in a movie, I know that the shot was not taken and the director is making a stab at misdirection. So I knew that Salt did not kill the Russian president. Since she did not kill him, it meant that she was the ‘good guy’ and someone else had to be the villain. The villain had to be someone we would least suspect and the only candidate was Liev Schreiber’s Ted Winter. Low marks for the script.
The script may have been underwhelming but the acting was not. SALT was originally written with a male lead in mind and Tom Cruise was offered the role. He rejected the role saying that the character was too similar to Mission Impossible’s Ethan Hunt. So the role was rewritten for a female lead and Angelina Jolie was cast. It was a turn of events that I believe worked in the movie’s favour. You could see Angelina throw her body behind every punch and muster every muscle fibre for every jump; because being a woman, the physicality of the actions demanded it for the movie to be credible. Some reviewers have said that the action sequences are not believable but I say that we watch movies to be ‘deceived’; if i wanted to see a woman walking I’d look out my window.
SALT could very well be the start of a female spy movie franchise a la Bond/Bourne. I think it would do well especially with Angelina starring and with an ending that is practically begging for a sequel, I believe we shall be hearing this line very soon: My name’s Salt, Evelyn Salt.