Reviewed by: Thaisha Geiger
|Featuring||Angelina Jolie (Evelyn Salt), Liev Schreiber (Winter), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Peabody), Zoe Lister Jones (Zoe Kinnally), Yara Shahidi (Cleo), Gaius Charles (Todd Bottoms), Cassidy Hinkle (Young Salt), Victor Slezak (3-Star General), James Schram (Corporal Davis—U.S. Military), See all »|
|Director||Phillip Noyce—“The Giver” (2014), “The Bone Collector” (1999), “Patriot Games” (1992)|
|Producer||Columbia Pictures, Relativity Media, See all »|
|Distributor||Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures|
“Who is Salt?”
Climbing walls barefoot, using an extinguisher as a rocket launcher and even driving a cop car with a mere taser gun demonstrates just some of the abilities of accused CIA agent Evelyn Salt. In a role originally written for Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie owns the fast-paced thriller about an agent on the run.
Evelyn Salt is on her way to enjoy a quiet anniversary dinner with her husband when a Russian defector shows up at the CIA building with some insider information. Salt and her fellow agents quickly blow off his assertions about Russia sending over spies trained since infancy, and even his warning of the impending assassination of the Russian president during his stay in New York City. Things suddenly change, however, when he claims the Russian spy and soon-to-be assassin is none other than Evelyn Salt, herself. This accusation quickly lands her on the opposing side of CIA agent Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor). Still believing in his friend is agent Ted Winter (Liev Schreiber).
Revealing any more of the plot might inadvertently present spoilers. While there are plot holes and logic-defying stunts, “Salt” steers clear of gimmicky CGI stunts with Jolie performing a great majority of her own stunts. Director Phillip Noyce keeps the pace steady, pausing enough to introduce the film’s twists and turns. The movie displays strong technical mastery, keeping the suspense and action sequences fresh. When tiredness and boredom threaten to enter within the screen, the film wisely ends.
With a beautiful female lead, I was afraid that the filmmakers would sexually objectify the character of Evelyn Salt; refreshingly, they did not. There are no sex scenes. Jolie is briefly shown in her bra and panties, while being tortured by the North Koreans. In one scene, she takes off her underwear and uses it to cover up a video camera.
As for profanity, there are about 6 uses of GD, 5 sh*t, and one BS. The film contains very heavy amounts of violence, so viewers should definitely heed the appropriately assigned PG-13 rating. While in North Korea, Evelyn Salt gets a tube shoved down her throat, and gasoline is subsequently poured down it. During an interrogation, she is brutally punched in the face several times. There are numerous hand-to-hand combats and plenty of shootings. However, little blood is shown during the fights and shooting. One man is repeatedly stabbed in the throat with a broken bottle, but the actual stabbing is not shown. There’s one suicide bomber who’s briefly shown blowing up before the camera turns away. One man is murdered when Salt takes a chain and viciously strangles him with her weight by jumping off a stairwell.
When meeting some of the Russian spies, they devotedly kiss the ring of their leader—sharing a close bond with one another. With false seeds planted within childhood, they wholeheartedly believe in their leader’s horrid cause, despite the bloodshed required to achieve his vision. Matthew 7 warns of false leaders and knowing them by the fruit they bear.
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistle?”
Determining whether or not to see “Salt” depends on your taste in films and what offends you. If you found “The Bourne Identity” and “Mission: Impossible” trilogies enjoyable, you’ll likely find “Salt” exciting, especially with Angelina Jolie in the lead. “Salt” has little character development, but a whole lot of action. Who is Evelyn Salt? The film’s slogan asks an excellent question which is never quite answered, save a few flashbacks. Perhaps the question has been purposely left open as the basis for future sequels.
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Moderate
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.