Russia and America have to worry about agent Salt. Salt answers the age old question: What’s worse than an action movie with no plot?
CIA agent Evelyn Salt’s (Angelina Jolie) life is thrown into turmoil when her loyalty is questioned in front of her bosses by a man named Orlov (Daniel Olbrychski) who claims to be an agent high up in the Russian government. They accuse her of knowing about the murder of a Russian dignitary. Worse, she knows that her husband, a Mike Krause (August Diehl), a German arachnologist, is in danger from the people who think she’s betrayed them. Like a caged animal, she breaks out of her surroundings, to find her husband.
When I left the theater after seeing Salt, all could hear was the eternally true expression; two wrongs don’t make a right. While the acting could pass as adequate, the writing and directing left that adage bouncing around my brain. The writing was shallow and lacking any emotional connection, even though it was obvious that there was an attempt to pull on our heart strings. Writer Kurt Wimmer tries to throw curveballs at the audience but only succeeds and t-ball quality pitches. The actions of the characters range from perplexing to downright strange.
The director, Phillip Noyce, couldn’t elevate the action scenes to a level to compensate for the thin writing. The actors, most of which were convincing and interesting, just had nothing to work with. They were like Olympic divers trying to do triple pikes off a six inch high diving board into a puddle; a bloody belly flop is inevitable.
Noyce should be nominated for the “Use of Stereotypes: Costumes Award”. One could create a drinking game around spotting a Russian. Every time he wants to plant an inference about Jolie’s character, or the other spy characters, there is a clumsy use of fur. American’s can’t be credited with the greatest international understanding, but even to us, using furry hats to tell us something about the character tells me that Noyce thinks we have the culture understanding of a bowl of soup.
I spent more time shifting in my seat than captivated. My fingernails suffered no nibbling from intense emotion but came out of the theater especially clean from the preening they experienced during Salt. I was so disinterested during Salt, I deliberately focus myself on the movie and had to stop myself from writing the review in my head in the cinema.
The ending of Salt left me shaking in fear. It was the only time in the movie that I felt truly, deeply rocked by emotion. Just as I could feel the wave of relief that the movie was finally coming to an end, the ending was a tsunami of terror washing away all my hope.
Angelia Jolie kicks major cross-continental ass, but the fight choreography and killings add nothing to the overall story. In the end she was the unfortunate Olympic diver. Salt’s answer the age old question: What’s worse than an action movie with no plot? A boring action movie with no plot.