by Rick Grant
It’s no secret that after the cold war and the Soviet Union collapsed, Russia was still run by ex-KGB agents who believed in having spies living among us here in the U.S. With the recent spy bust of a cadre of sleeper spies living in suburbia, obviously, we can’t trust the Russians.
This fast paced action film, starring Angelina Jolie as Russian speaking CIA Agent Evelyn Salt, plays to that mistrust. So, the premise, although far fetched, is plausible. The film gives Jolie a chance to kick ass and fire modern assault weapons. Fasten your seat belts, this is a rocket ride through Hades.
Dating back to the cold war, Salt was specially trained as a sleeper agent and sent to live in America. Here she fell in love with a biologist, married him, and got a job with the CIA.
One day a Russian spy walks into the CIA and claims that Salt is a Russian spy while she’s in the control room. This sets off a chain of events that sends Salt running away. The audience never knows where her loyalties lie until later in the film.
Meanwhile, all hell breaks loose as her colleague and friend, Ted Winter (Liev Schreiber) wonders what the hell Salt is doing. He still believes she is loyal to the United States. But, why is she running if she is innocent of the charge of being a spy?
Ted’s colleagues have to assume she is a threat and use all their resources to track Salt down. However, they had no idea how well trained she was until she starts using her hidden talents to avoid capture at every turn.
The chase action is non-stop as Salt puts her commando training to good use. But for what purpose? Ah yes, this is the nagging question that drives the action, as Salt is a one woman army, thinking on her feet and improvising when cornered.
This is a choice role for Jolie who uses her physical prowess and acting talent to string the audience along on her unknown quest to find and protect her husband, who is caught in the middle. Yes, not only is Jolie gorgeous, she does action really well.
Viewers learn some of her background by the fleeting flashbacks, although they seem out of place as the action never lets up. Her friend Ted seems to have come to the conclusion that Salt has betrayed her country and the CIA. But he’s still concerned for her safety.
The big question for the audience is: Where are Salt’s loyalties? Is she a double agent–a Russian operative, or still working for the CIA. This keeps the adrenaline pumping and the audience on the edge of their seats as the action plays out.
Directed by Phillip Noyce, who orchestrated the stunts and action with precise timing. This picture is a perfect fix for adrenaline junkies and action movie fans. I was excited by the action and intrigued by trying to figure out where the story was going. In the end, all story elements are tied together with a final twist.
SALT movie review
by Rick Grant