Aside from her much talked about beauty, famous puffed up lips that launched a thousand fantasies, ongoing tabloid romance with Brad Pitt and serial adoptions, I can’t quite figure out why Angelina Jolie is famous. After watching the DVD release of her latest big-screen thriller, Salt, I had to go back through her filmography to see if she actually ever actually starred in a truly memorable or remarkable movie. The conclusion, is no, not really.
Salt does nothing to change that. While I am a big fan of books and movies that start quickly and get to the action quickly, Salt, the story of a CIA agent who turns out to be a Russian sleeper spy, gets off to a fast paced start that turns into a bang-bang shoot ‘em, car chase in search of a plot.
Unfortunately, it’s all downhill from there. Australian director Phillip Noyce (The Bone Collector/Clear and Present Danger) backfills the storyline with a seemingly endless string of flashbacks, filling in the blanks on Jolie’s character Evelyn Salt’s romance, marriage and even her childhood recruitment into a Russian sleeper spy school.
If you’re the type of person who likes to have at least one foot grounded in reality, then forget about Salt; which mixes some suspended reality, high-flying stunts with Jolie turned into a one women wrecking crew that slices through a stack of highly trained tough guys, like a hot knife through butter.
Even novice fiction detectives will be able to spot the obvious double-cross fairly early on in the action. What Noyce tries to pass off as plot twists to throw the viewer off track or to raise doubt about Salt’s conversion from the dark side end up being fairly transparent.
Try as they might with non-stop action, in the end, Evelyn Salt is no Jason Bourne and Angelina Jolie is still more famous for her plumped up kisser than her acting ability.