Action / Thriller
 

Salt

Distributed by: Columbia Pictures


Reviewed by Melissa Minners

 

            When I first saw Angelina Jolie in Foxfire, I just knew that she was more than your average actress.  This woman had star potential.  Years later, Iím happy to see that I was right.  Every Angelina Jolie movie I have ever seen contains a terrific performance from the actor, even if the movie itself is a flop.  So when I heard Jolie was starring in an action/thriller called Salt, I couldnít wait for it to hit the theaters. 

            The plot of Salt, created approximately three years ago, somewhat reflects todayís news (check out all of the articles about Russian sleeper cell spies in the United States).  Evelyn Salt (Jolie) is a respected CIA agent who is accused of being a spy by a would-be Russian defector (Daniel Olbrychski).  According to the defector, Salt was initially a member of a sleeper cell trained as children to infiltrate various cultures and lay low until Day X arrives.  On Day X, the sleeper cell will awaken and the Russian plans for the destruction of the United States will be put in place, beginning with the assassination of the Russian President, who will be attending the funeral of the United States Vice President in New York City the following day.

            Things donít look good for Salt when she escapes CIA custody and heads to New York City.  Things look even worse when she ends up at St. Bartholomew's Church on the day of the funeral.  Then, of course, there is the smoking gun and a dead Russian President to contend with.  But all along, Salt is maintaining that she is not a Russian spy.  So, who is telling the truth here?

            I donít think there is anyone out there who would not agree that Angelina Jolie can do action.  Drama is also another one of her strong points.  Add the two together and you have one amazing 90 minute rollercoaster ride filled with action and suspense, chock full of dramatic revelations and incredible adrenaline rushes.  Action scenes include some rather improbable, but oh so much fun to watch chase scenes through the streets of Washington, D.C. and New York City.  For those who like hand-to-hand combat, you wonít be disappointed as Evelyn Salt fights to remain a free woman.

            Liev Schreiber is Ted Winter, a friend and colleague of Evelyn Salt who repeatedly comes to her defense until she winds up in New York City.  Schreiber is a terrific dramatic actor who truly does not get enough credit for his performances.  He holds up well next to Angelina Jolie whose screen presence often dwarfs all others in the scene.  In his role as CIA Agent Winter, Schreiber shows quite a bit of versatility and resilience.  His performance in Salt is something Iíve come to expect and appreciate from this actor.

            The character of Evelyn Salt is someone the crowd will enjoy rooting for, despite the questions as to her loyalty to the United States.  This woman is just too cool, exhibiting incredible stamina and control throughout every action scene while still managing to ooze sex appeal.  Angelina Jolie was the perfect choice to play this character.  She is at ease in the action film genre and is an incredibly effective dramatic actress.  Want to know the key to her effectiveness?  Just watch those eyes and all the emotions they reveal.

            I donít normally see movies in the theater on their opening day, but for Salt I was happy to make the exception.  I didnít even mind paying that exorbitant fee that movie theaters are charging for tickets these days.  Salt earned every penny I shelled out to see it and I can honestly say that I wouldnít mind paying for another theater ticket just to see it again.  Angelina Jolie has another hit with Salt and, if I interpret things correctly, a possible turn at a sequel to follow.


 

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