22 07 2010

“Salt” is all about Angelina Jolie.  Forget the character, the movie is about making her look like a goddess.  It’s about how she can pull off being blonde and brunette.  It’s about how she can look good with long or short hair.  It’s about how she can still manage to look gorgeous after scaling a building or taking a punch.  It’s about how she can walk away from explosions and jumping on cars without ever looking unattractive.  No matter how much blood coats her face, Angelina Jolie can still look hot.

The movie is one made of surprises and twists, and Angelina Jolie’s never failing good looks are not one of them.  The movie throws us into disarray as we try to figure out what side Jolie’s Evelyn Salt is really on: Russia or America.  What we think we know is never certain, and subject to change at the drop of a hat.  It takes everything we’ve hated about summer 2010, the predictability and the banality, and gives us an entire movie jam-packed with the exact opposite.  Between this and “Inception,” the season is covered for plot twists.

For all of you who got a giddy rush from the mention of “Inception,” no, “Salt” is not in the same ballpark as Nolan’s latest and greatest.  It has the adrenaline kick of “Wanted” with the espionage intrigue of a Bourne movie.  We are always kept engaged by this combination, no matter how far the boundaries of plausibility are pushed.  It’s most like “Wanted,” though, with some similar action sequences that stay more tightly bound to the laws of physics.  Although that’s not to say they aren’t entertaining; they just lack the extra sucker-punch energy.  Salt has to be resourceful and kick butt in more human ways, which makes our jaws drop in an entirely different fashion.  It’s complication without sophistication, and there’s no shortage of fun to be had.

As for Jolie’s acting, it’s a combination of her smugly cool assassin in “Wanted” with her compellingly hysterical family woman in “Changeling.”  She’s mastered both of these character types, and while Evelyn Salt is a far cry from her award-winning roles, it’s a further reminder that she can sell us anything.  I think I can only be entertained by “Salt” once because so much of the movie is in the reversals, but I can watch Angelina Jolie many, many times.  B+ /



3 responses

23 07 2010

Cool, it’s good to hear that it isn’t terrible. The trailers make it look like a bad Bourne knock-off (and make sure to include a sex scene as if to entice young male viewers in the trashiest way possible).

23 07 2010

A sex scene that will only appear on the UNRATED disc…

23 07 2010

It looks stupid, but entertaining with enough action, and Jolie in leather.

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