Salt is an action-packed spy thriller that keeps you engaged and entertained, but doesn’t really break any new ground. Angelina Jolie plays Evelyn Salt, a CIA officer who goes on the run when she’s accused of being a Russian spy. Liev Schreiber and Chiwetel Ejiofor play federal agents in hot pursuit of Salt, who may or may not be a bad guy. I mean, girl.
The role of Salt was originally written for Tom Cruise but I don’t think the gender switch adds or detracts from the final product. They’ve both played this same type of slick, sharp, kick-ass character before – in this same type of big budget, stunt-driven, bullets-flyin’, bombs explodin’, reality-suspending cinematic joyride.
I’d love to be able to reveal more about the plot of Salt. But that’s impossible to do without giving too much away. Needless to say, the movie’s believability factor (or lack thereof) definitely benefits from the recent, real-life, Russian-U.S. spy swap. Otherwise, the whole Cold War-esque, happily-married spy-next-door thing might have seemed very passé. Maybe it’s time to dust off those Scarecrow and Mrs. King reruns after all (whatever happened to Bruce Boxleitner anyway?).
In many ways, watching Salt is like watching Mr. and Mrs. Smith without the Mr., so it’s devoid of the sexy and funny that made that Jolie-Pitt flick a breakout hit. But if you like movies in the vein of the Bourne, Mission Impossible, or Matrix franchises, then a dash of Salt will satisfy your appetite for relatively light summer fare (especially compared to Inception). And just as the good ol’ Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty had its sequel, my guess is that this SALT will trigger a SALT II too, eventually.