Friday, July 30, 2010


I'll admit, I was closed-minded while watching "Salt." I didn't pay as much attention as I should have, and of course, when you do that, some stuff doesn't make sense. But this was not a very interesting or satisfying film. The film is allegedly an adaptation (subject of debate on the internet), but Internet Movie Database doesn't list anything. That makes this film one unoriginal original screenplay, one that deserves the obvious label of "Bourne ripoff," and one that gets too close for comfort in certain instances.

Of course, it would have been much more of a problem if the film had had a male lead, as Entertainment Weekly said it was originally set to have. The fact that the lead in the finished product is a woman is a boost, convincing the audience that the idea is different. This is furthered in the "tables-are-turned" aspect from the trailer (that Owen Gleiberman and others mentioned), where Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie, somewhat of a good choice, though not entirely original) is told by the man she is (as said before) interrogating that she is (as Owen Gleiberman et al. said) "a Russian spy" and (as they say in the film and I believe as critics said) "an immediate threat" to kill the Russian president, which sets off the alarms of her cohorts and in the building in which she is holding the questioning. This was the aspect that made me and probably countless others watch the film. At least I expected that this was going to start the film off, as it could have and should have, but instead, we get a very dull beginning to establish the characters, especially Salt and her husband Mike (August Diehl).

To go back to the "real" start of the movie (that really should have been the start), surprises only truly are satisfying upon their arrival and shortly afterwards. After Evelyn Salt manages her way out of her confines, as she is fated to do, the film shows definite signs of its predecessors in the "track-down" genre, as Salt, as Ebert said, continues to "escape from, or break into, one impenetrable stronghold after another." It should be more entertaining than it is, especially in the esteemed "truck sequence," which has been given a profile in Entertainment Weekly, but that failed to really to stimulate me as it should have (i.e. beyond interestingly done shots and more into actual (as said before by critics) "involvement"). I did close my mind up a little bit, but still.

The film's plot within the plot really is (as said before) "complicated," and supposedly involves killing (in some capacity) both the American and Russian presidents (I know I'm somewhat wrong about this, but I don't really want to go back and watch the film again to get the facts straight). It involves a lot of double-crossing (others mentioned "satisfying twists," but only one or two are worth note) and friendships back through the years. It also features Salt shifting her personality sometimes into the psychotic and driven range, which I think is interesting. I'll do as Ebert did (not only as a way to not reveal spoilers, but to also try to cover my ignorance of the plot that I should have paid more attention to) and (as he said) "not say much more than that." As Ebert said, the film has some interesting shots in the derivative camerawork by Robert Elswit, but that sort of thing doesn't do much more than occasionally stimulate when there's a score like there is in this film (that makes you even more recall "track-down" movies). "Salt" is not all bad (if you, as said before, "follow it along," probably it would be more rewarding), but it's not indelible and, at least for me, not very enjoyable. C


S. M. Rana said...

I find your reviews trust worthier than many another. Thanks! One more avoided. It's showing here. Finally, so few are worth seeing. I'm set to see Vincere.

Stephanie said...

This movie definitely doesn't sound like my cup of tea. Thanks for helping me cull all the available films. :-)

litdreamer said...

I wasn't going to see it before, and I'm not going to see it now.

BTW, try using less parentheses in your reviews, Nick. It interrupts (or should I say, stops) the flow of your sentences. ;-)

Also, not sure if any of you Blogger users are aware of this, but some of your sites (e.g. S M's, Nick's) are blocking comments coming from OpenID (e.g. Wordpress). I had to comment under name/url. Not sure if this is a glitch, or if you have to change your settings to allow OpenID accounts to comment.

Nick Duval said...

Yes, I should use less parentheses. Bad habit of mine. ;)

I'm not sure how I can do that (let Wordpressers comment with their accounts) without blocking anonymous comments, which wouldn't be good. I'll look into it.

Nick Duval said...

It seems to be working for some Wordpress users.