Saturday, 21 April 2012
I'll start with the plot: completely ridiculous. In the "classic" action movies you tend to have an unbelievable situation that itself is pretty straightforward (until the inevitable twist midway through the final act). Not in Salt, the whole premise is pretty standard fare and itself very reminiscent of Enemy of the State (another good action/thriller). The way it plays out though is not so straightforward. There are so many twists and turns you to wonder if it's modelled on a drunk's walk home through the city. At night. Blindfolded. That said, it did hook me. I wasn't sat there indifferent, I was engaged to some degree even if it was just thinking "what the hell? this makes no sense". It does pan out in the end with pretty weak motivations and an even weaker tether to reality.
It's great for what it is. The stunts are slick and produced in a quality becoming of the hefty budget. Only one set piece actually looked a bit silly, and considering some of the action undertaken in the film, that's a triumph. It's also pretty interesting that the title role was originally filled by Tom Cruise, but was later rewritten for Jolie. Thanks to this, Salt herself comes off as pretty non-gendered and would've worked pretty well either way. From what I can gather there was nothing major changed regarding the swap, and maybe that's a testament to changing attitudes towards gender in Hollywood. More likely though, I'd say it should be credited to Jolie herself. She was pretty much born to do this stuff, and she definitely looks great doing it.