Salt isn’t the right vehicle for a summer thrill ride

Evelyn Salt is CIA. Or she’s a Russian spy. Or she’s an American spy. Or she’s some kind of Russian/American spy hybrid. Either way, I don’t care and neither should you.

Salt, the new film from Columbia Pictures starring Angelina Jolie as the title character, is more ridiculous and less entertaining. The movie focuses on Salt, a CIA agent, who has her loyalty tested when a defector claims she is a Russian spy set to kill the Russian president. Throughout the film we follow Salt as she attempts to prove her innocence. Along the way Salt takes a path that leads us to believe she may not be who she claims to be until we stumble into an ending with a slight twist.

I went into Salt expecting to see the typical summer action movie but instead was stuck seeing a movie that seemed to be confused. At times Salt appeared to be a spy movie based in realty, then at other times it was over-the-top ridiculous, most notably in a scene with Salt making her way down an elevator shaft.

There’s nothing wrong with a movie being over-the-top absurd, but if you’re going over-the-top, go all the way. Don’t bounce back and forth between ridiculousness and realty. Pick a side a stick to it. Salt failed to do this and thus I was left feeling unsatisfied at the film’s conclusion.

More interesting than the movie is how the casting took place. Originally the lead character of Evelyn Salt was written for a male lead, to be named Edwin Salt I believe, and was to be played by Tom Cruise. When Cruise backed out, Jolie slid right in to take over. While I do find it to be quite awesome that an actress had no trouble at all taking over the lead role written for a male in an action flick, this movie would have worked better with Cruise. Not to say the film would have been good, but this was clearly written with him in mind. You could have easily put Cruise in the lead role, changed his name to Ethan and called this Mission Impossible 4.

If you’re looking for an action packed summer blockbuster to take you on a thrill ride, don’t expect Salt to be the vehicle taking you.

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Chris Coffel

My name is Chris Coffel from Phoenix, Arizona. I love film and the Phoenix Suns. I write movie reviews for Trashwire and write about the Phoenix Suns for Downtown Phoenix Journal. I'm also the co-host of a movie podcast focusing on fringe cinema, the Dark of the Matinee. Please subscribe to my show on iTunes. I write about the Suns here: downtownphoenixjournal.com I make movies here: youtube.com/phxpro I talk about movies here: facebook.com/darkofthematineepodcast

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3 Responses

  1. Luckily I felt that way about the trailer when I saw it so I did not have to sit through that hot mess. Unfortunately, since this is your job, I feel bad for you when you have to sit through stinkers like this. Thanks for confirming my suspicions.

  2. ching says:

    damn. i’m about to watch this movie this afternoon with my friends.

  3. I normally love anything with AngieJo, but I’m scared to see this now since everyone’s saying it sucked. Gonna wait for Netflix on this one.

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