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Angelina Jolie continues to prove that she can handle guns, grenades and the bad guys even if the story line is implausible in her action-thriller of Salt.
In the movie, her character Evelyn Salt, are perpetually in motion and that’s a good thing for its own sake since it keeps audiences from dwelling on how unapologetically preposterous the plot in question is. From start to finish, Salt movie 2010 is the very definition of a solid summer popcorn movie that is fast, exciting, suspenseful, adrenalized and smart.
Salt movie is highly implausible when I quickly ticked off a list of events in the movie that could not happen in reality. In conclusion, it’s a Hollywood action film, therefore, of course, it’s implausible. Still, that’s what movies are made for. Its purpose is to take us out of our own lives and plunge us into a world we could never actually inhabit to enjoy thrills while suspending disbelief. It’s not a question of plausible or implausible that’s important. The matter is that the movie feels real enough to hold you rapt and not make you say “No freakin’ way”.
In the movie, Evelyn Salt, a covert CIA operative who works for a petroleum company in Washington, D.C. One day, on the way out of the office, she’s called back to question a walk-in Soviet defector Orlov (Daniel Olbrychski) claiming to have information about a mole at the CIA. The double-agent he names is Evelyn Salt, and she has been activated to murder the Russian president as he being scheduled to appear in New York to deliver the eulogy for the recently deceased former U.S. vice president, so Salt heads to New York ostensibly to foil that plot and clear her own name.
Even as the Russian is escorted out, Salt is being sequestered for questioning. Still, she’s also quietly freaking out because she’s worried that this is a plot in which the Russians are going to go after her husband. So, given an opportunity, she slips out of the building to go find him which makes her an instant suspect and fugitive. Her best friend at the agency, Ted (Liev Schreiber) refuses to believe that she’s a double-agent, but he can barely restrain Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor) leading the charge to recapture Salt. However, Salt is like a female Jason Bourne, and no one’s going to take her without a fight and a chase.
If there was ever a time when cooler heads should prevail, the moment of being said to be a mole in front of your colleagues seem to be it, but just the opposite happens. In fact all of Salt movie is based on the notion that nothing reasonable or plausible ever happens. So, when a worried Evelyn decides she has to check up on her husband and then go to New York to check out that funeral, she is forced to outsmart and outrun a building full of CIA types. Counter-intelligence’s Peabody can scream “box her in” all he wants, but you might as well try to catch the wind
You go to summer action movies for brisk stunts expertly executed, so the movie give you well-directed action that doesn’t allow you to catch your breath and for one of the preeminent action stars of our time. With what she does here on top of Lara Craft: Tomb Raider, Wanted and Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Jolie has earned the right to be considered not a potent female action star but a potent action star. What makes her so good are traits that add up to a fierce commitment to action. A determination to make the role of a CIA agent who literally and metaphorically takes no prisoners as convincing as she can. For one thing, despite being aided by stunt double Eunice Huthart, Jolie is athletic and fearless enough to do many of her own stunts. She is also expert at projecting the ice cold fury that makes fight scenes strong. Jolie’s don’t-mess-with-me fierceness is palpable, and it allows her to angrily throw herself into the martial arts action like she means every blow she strikes. Casting her as Salt movie’s lead is a perfect choice. It makes all the difference in a part that would be completely standard if a man played it. It is the contrast between what cultural conditioning in general and Hollywood movies in particular tell us about women’s roles and what Jolie can in fact accomplish that holds our interest here.
Though Schreiber, Ejiofor and Olbrychski do as well as the script allows them to, human relationships, especially those between Evelyn and her husband, are the movie’s weakest link. On the other hand, there are compensations: “Give her a gun or a grenade”, veteran stunt coordinator Simon Crane says of Jolie, “and there’s no one better”.