Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

It is Evelyn Salt’s anniversary, as played by the always lovely Angelina Jolie, but just as she and her boss Ted Winter (Liev Schreiber) were exiting their mundane CIA agent gigs for the day, they get word that their offices have been visited by a Russian defector. Clearly I’m not well versed in these things but considering that Russia is more or less a democracy right about now can Russians still ‘defect’? Anyway this guy is Vassily Orlov (Daniel Olbrychski), a former big wig with the Old School KGB guard and has some tall tales to tell these CIA agents with the tallest tale being that Evelyn Salt is a Russian Spy and she will be assassinating the Russian President on his upcoming American visit. Oh no he didn’t just tell that lie! Lie or not security head Agent Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor) follows protocol and detains Salt until he can confirm or deny these seemingly spectacular claims but Salt is more concerned about her husband who she feels might be in some danger.

One thing for sure is that either Evelyn Salt was trained real well by the CIA or she picked up some other specialized skills elsewhere, like maybe in Russia, because she breaks containment and is on the run. Girlfriend can do all kinds of really cool stuff. She’s like MacGyver only with a gun. And full lips and boobs. If Salt is a Russian agent then thank the Lord above for Glasnost because if Russia had a bunch of agents like Evelyn Salt, considering that the FBI, NYPD, CIA, NSA, Secret Service, DEA and the Coast Guard couldn’t handle her, we’d be fighting like rebels from Chechnya trying to get free from their iron grip.

Peabody knows that something is up because 115lb. blondes normally don’t possess these kind of mad skills, but Winter refuses to believe that Salt is anything but what he has always known her to be. Well, so much for his beliefs because Salt has gone and done something real bad, basically throwing the whole world in a state of total chaos. Can you say Defcon 2?

That’s only the tip of the iceberg for those evil grudge holding ex-commie bastards have something even more nefarious planned. Think something along the lines of World Destruction and also recognize that there are a gaggle of Evelyn Salt types sprinkled around in positions of power in our great land. Or maybe not. While we’ve seen Evelyn do some really bad stuff, she hasn’t been nearly as bad as she could’ve been, just ask Mr. High and Mighty Peabody over there. Who, indeed, is Salt?

So there are a couple of ways you can take this movie. You either have to suspend ALL pretense of reasonable belief or you don’t. I mean you don’t hold on to anything. If you’re one of those people who fancy yourself as having a knowledge of simple physics, you’re gonna have to let that go. If think you possess some basic concepts on the workings of the government or perhaps have a working knowledge of security protocols then release it. Set it free. If you happen to be one of those silly people who believe that two plus two equals four… push it out. With that taken care of… now you are ready to enjoy this out of control nonsense calling itself ‘Salt’.

Admittedly asking a person to lobotomize themselves before watching a movie might seem extreme, but I think it’s worth it here because it is a lot of fun to sit through if you can get past some stuff. A lot of stuff. All the stuff. Phillip Noyce directs one mean, lean stupid action movie here, which is a surprise since most of the movies I’ve seen from Mr. Noyce are almost the picture of pure control, and I’ve seen a lot of Phillip Noyce movies. You have too. The Quiet American? Now that was an intelligent tense thriller. ‘Clear and Present Danger’, Blind Fury, Dead Calm, Patriot Games, Catch a Fire... Without pigeonholing the director to a particular ‘style’, nothing about this movie smells like a Phillip Noyce movie. However the alert observer might notice that this movie was written by one Kurt Wimmer, a film director who crafted a couple of really wild movies in ‘Equilibrium’ and ‘Ultra Violet’. This same observer might also see that ‘Salt’ smells an awful lot like a ‘Wimmer-vision’ masterpiece. I have a theory. After the disaster of ‘Ultra Violet’ the powers that be chose to take away my man’s directors chair but Noyce, being a close friend (I’m guessing), tricked those powers by telling them he was going to direct but actually let his boy Kurt make this movie. That explains everything. At least it does to me, which is cool because I happen to like Kurt Wimmer movies… that aren’t called ‘Ultra Violet’.

The fact of the matter is I enjoyed ‘Salt’ despite the fact it’s near the top of the list of the most ridiculously implausible movies ever made. Angelina Jolie was great as the action hero, way better than in those putrid Tomb Raider movies, you can’t get much better support for your stars than Ejiofor and Schreiber. Plus Andre Braugher was in this movie. If you blink you will miss him and I’m guessing that a good many of the brothers scene are lying on the floor of an editing bay somewhere but you can never discount the Andre Braugher factor in any movie or television show he graces with an appearance.

Intelligent? Steven Seagal just texted to me to let me know he thought this movie was retarded. Fun to sit through? Most definitely.

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