Angelina Jolie reignites the Cold War in Salt, a welcome throwback to when action was thrilling and visible.
The timing couldn’t be better. With Bourne and Bond MIA, and Tom Cruise in the infinite stages of creating another Mission: Impossible, it is up to a woman to get the job done.
And who better then Angelina Jolie to man up and step to the plate? She mixes action and sex appeal better than most of her peers, and as the opening scenes of this espionage thriller proves (where Jolie is tortured by North Koreans), this woman has the cajones to stand up to any man.
The premise is simple: Jolie plays Evelyn Salt, a CIA operative who is accused by a defector of being a Russian spy wired to kill the president.
Thus begins the chase, with Jolie on the run from The Man. Keeping things interesting is Kurt Wimmer’s (of Equilibrium fame) script, which keeps the mystery of Salt’s intentions murky at best. Is this a case of mistaken identity? Or, is Salt a part of a vast (albeit ludicrous) sleeper cell of Russian agents?
Throughout is a succession of well crafted action sequences which are thankfully void of shaky cam, director Philip Noyce opting not to bow to modern day action theatrics, and injecting a style which made his two Jack Ryan pics (Patriot Games, Clear & Present Danger) so enjoyable to watch.
Jolie takes to the action with a confidence reserved for the most seasoned of action veterans, which come to think of it, is what she now is.
Her simmering sexuality is a bonus (can’t remember any blokes using their underwear to blind a surveillance camera), as is Jolie’s ability to pull off a MacGuyver intelligence, capping off a lethal trinity of brad, brain, and brawn.
That Evelyn Salt makes Ethan Hunt look like a cream puff is just, considering Cruise turned down the role. His loss is our gain, and if Salt is any indication, we have the beginning of a very tasty franchise.