The inexplicability of Angelina Jolie‘s super-human existence is officially off the charts. Why? Because while she isn’t busy adopting half of the Third World, maintaining a position as a Goodwill Ambassador, and keeping Brad Pitt amused, she’s pulling off yet another bad-ass action film. This summer’s highly anticipated blockbuster, Salt, directed by Phillip Noyce could potentially stand toe-to-toe at the box-office with last weeks booming success, Inception.
Let’s take a closer look…
As a highly accomplished/respected CIA officer, Evelyn Salt is a diamond in the rough. On the evening of her anniversary, she’s called in for a last minute emergency cross examination of a Russian prisoner, and a defector accuses her of being a Russian spy. Without any solid explanation, Salt immediately takes off and initiates the goose-chase of the century to avoid disclosing the truth behind her identity.
- Pacing/Writing: First things first, round of applause for a 100-minute run-time. Salt wasted zero time and achieved its “bad-ass” quota quite deftly, and without the typical Action/Thriller fluff. The story unravels itself with gripping suspense, though with a certain grace and fluidity - the audience was captivated by the mystery, and not so eager for answers. We’re enjoying the twists and turns of Salt‘s anonymity.
- Performances: Gold stars across the boards in this department. There was more than one occasion for cheesy, declarative (!) dialogue – though they were sufficiently overshadowed/saved by solid acting.
- Ending: The story offers something of a “pay-off,” while still rendering the audience uncertain. Salt’s identity and “allegiance” is revealed, but there’s no definitive conclusion or outcome to her mission. Hellooo, sequel!
- Eat Something: Yes, Ms. Jolie is a bad-ass. But let’s be frank, the viability of a 90-pound sack of bones scaling a 30-story building, bare-foot, with a dog in her back pack…or beating the ever-loving crap out of 90% of the secret service is pretty slim.
- Chase Scenes: The chase scenes were well-executed and visually stirring, but indisputably unrealistic. This is an action-film, so exaggerated reality is almost a requirement – but, again, the likelihood of Ms. Jolie surviving explosions, car accidents, and machine guns is pretty dim.
Salt hits theaters on July 23rd.