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Film Review: Salt

Written by: FFT Webmaster | July 24th, 2010

* **1/2

Director Phillip Noyce is at the top of his game in this action, pop-corn thriller that plays more like a cartoon than a depiction of real life. Based on an original screenplay by Kurt Wimmer, this neo-Cold War thriller is out of the classic good-guy-as-fugitive mold, about a female CIA agent (Angelina Jolie) who may or may not have been a Russian plant and ends up with the entirety of the U.S. counter espionage bureaucracy breathing down her neck. As she tries to find her husband, and perhaps assassinate the Russian president, we are left wondering whose side is she on?

 Image from SALT

Salt is one extremely well made, zany spy movie. The plot will confound your sensibilities as it delivers constant tension and thrills. Every second of this 95-minute movie feels like you’re in the driver’s seat of a Ferrari. Each and every element, beginning with Jolie’s fierce, exciting performance delivers thrills and enjoyment.

Salt has a trusting, sympathetic relationship with her colleague Winter (Liev Schreiber). Her CIA superior, Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is skeptical and by the book, ready to bring her in dead or alive. Her little-seen husband Mike (August Diehl) is almost ghost-like in his embodiment as a German national arachnologist.

Mr. Noyce, whose best work has been in intimate dramas (“The Quiet American,” “Rabbit-Proof Fence”) is an adroit director of action thrillers (“Patriot Games”) and isn’t afraid to borrow liberally from Hitchcock’s “Notorious” and “North by Northwest” and the “Bourne” films of Paul Greengrass.

Salt who can disappear at will, is set up to return in a sequel as this iteration leaves us with more questions than answers.


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