25 2010

I’m going to have to come right out and spoil Salt for everyone. I can do this because I honestly believe no one, including me, reads this blog. I can also do this because I am attempting to become a better human being, and by ruining this movie for everyone, I am performing a valuable service. No one should be made to see Salt.

Salt is preposterous. It is the kind of movie that serves up nonsense upon nonsense and acts as if they are wholly plausible. It is the big lie told over and over again, and at a high volume.

Angelina Jolie is Salt, a CIA operative who is really a Russian agent who is really a CIA operative. The movie suggests the Russians have a farm somewhere, and on this farm is grown nothing but children who will then be placed in the United States to act as moles. Now the Russian boogeyman is so good at training these agents, it’s placed at least three of them where they can come into direct contact with the United States president. There are, of course, others we’re told, a veritable army of them, but they remain unrevealed throughout the film.

Salt performs magic tricks throughout the entire movie, the first being where she escapes from a locked room after a fellow Russian outs her. Not only does she escape from the secure and locked room, she also manages to free herself  from a CIA facility by mixing household chemicals to create a bomb and defeating a CIA team sent to stop her. The CIA is not the only agency to be ineffective against Salt, we will note. In fact, the Secret Service, the New York police force and even her own Russian compatriots are unable to stop her. At one point, being lead away in handcuffs, by the Secret Service, Salt in fact manages to kill someone by —and I am not making this up—leaping off a stairway and strangling a man with the handcuff chain.

Of course Salt gets to not only the Russian president visiting the United States for a funeral, but also to the American president in his secret bunker under the White House. This is not unexpected because she also leaps off a bridge and lands on a moving truck, then proceeds to leap off that truck onto a second truck and, finally, survive a fall when said truck slams on its breaks. After being arrested by the New York police, she manages to escape an entire motorcade and walks away when the police van she’s commandeered jumps a concrete barricade (more miracles!), plummets downward, and crash-lands on a taxi. Oh, and she jumps from a moving subway train and survives a swim in the icy waters of the Potomac.

Anyway, long after anyone has stopped caring about whether Salt is what she says she is, she’s performed no less than 10 miracles and evaded everyone or else pummeled him into unconsciousness. The woman outruns cars, for chrissake. She’s like the Incredible Hulk without the purple pants.

Jolie is workmanlike here. She’s given nothing to work with, and neither the script nor the director allow her the tiniest bit of humanity. Is it possible to care for an unstoppable juggernaut? Not here, it isn’t.

Oh, and to ruin the movie: Liev Schrieber is the film’s Boris Badenov. He’s planted inside the president’s bunker and attempts to launch nuclear weapons. Needless to say, his super-Russian training isn’t as good as Salt’s.

Categories: The cinema

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