Salt (2010)

Review of: Salt (2010)
Review by:
Bill Clark

Reviewed by:
On July 22, 2010
Last modified:July 3, 2014


Salt succeeds as an unpretentious, confident, and fast-paced action piece.

Salt (2010)

Who is Salt? The trailers have been posing this question for months, and it’s not likely you’re going to leave with a whole lot of defined answers. Salt is a gloriously preposterous espionage action/thriller, owing its very existence to the Bond and Bourne franchises. As directed by Philip Noyce, working from Kurt Wimmer’s screenplay, this is a taut, well-made picture that delivers nonstop action. It’s likely to keep our attention off the increasingly ridiculous plot, which is about Russian double agents and a plot to use the U.S.’s nuclear weapons.

Angelina Jolie stars as Evelyn Salt, a seemingly normal CIA desk jockey. As the film opens Salt and her partner, Winter (Schreiber), are called to interrogate a Russian defector who has crucial information pertaining to an upcoming attempt on the Russian President’s life. During the interrogation, Salt is named as a Russian covert agent who could be part of the plan. She soon finds herself on the run, desperate to prove her innocence, as the authorities try to piece together her motives and upcoming moves.

Part The Fugitive, part Bond, and part Bourne, Salt never makes any bones about its influences. Fortunately, they’re copping material that largely works. Noyce keeps the action moving at a very high clip, be it Salt jumping from moving truck to moving truck or walking briskly away as a half-dozen grenades detonate right behind her. It’s nice to see some set pieces that take place in open spaces, as opposed to just close-ups of chests with fists hitting them. From a narrative standpoint, the story is absurd and the final sequence leaves another half-dozen plot holes behind, but it plays to the audiences’ fascination with conspiracy and shady dealings.

Jolie thrives as the title character; making herself an imposing physical presence while giving the audience as wink every so often to make sure we know she’s in on the fun. Noyce knows this is her film, and he lets her run with it. The supporting work is fairly standard government agent stuff, though that’s what Liev Schreiber does best.

Salt succeeds as an unpretentious, confident, and fast-paced action piece. Noyce delivers some pulse-pounding action and Jolie knows how to play along. The story holding it together is pretty flimsy, but at least introduces a fun conspiracy foundation and keeps the twists, however predictable, coming. The final sequence makes it pretty clear that Columbia wants this to become their Bourne franchise. If the numbers go their way, I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to another Salt adventure.


Studio: Columbia Pictures
Length: 100 Minutes
Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action.
Theatrical Release: July 23, 2010
Directed by: Phillip Noyce
Written by: Kurt Wimmer
Cast: Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Daniel Olbrychski, August Diehl




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