What SALT Didn’t Bring To The Table

August 7, 2010 at 10:03 am

The Athletic Nerd Movie Reviews Salt

(5/10)

I had a choice.

Either see Inception for the second time and leave the theater smiling or take a risk and give Angelina Jolie and Salt a shot.

Woops.

Who is Salt?  Don’t expect a quick answer.

Salt begins with a fairly simple premise but the movie lost me early on.

Aren’t we done with Spy movies where the government is after one of their own?

What SALT Didn't Bring To The Table

As soon as I found out Salt is supposed to be a planted Russian spy I cringed.  I knew I was in for another 2 hours of car chases where traffic only blocks police cars and not the getaway vehicles.

“She’s cornered!  No way she’s going to jump off that bridge onto that moving transport.  Even then I’ll shoot her and she will fall off…”

“I did nothing wrong!” 

“Holy crap she jumped!  Good thing she’s an advancely trained human being and therefore able to land on that moving truck.”

Bang!

“That didn’t even look like it hurt!  Who are we dealing with here?!”

The answer?  An enemy of the US government.

Note: I have to say the transport chase was pretty cool.  That scene alone bumped the review score from 4/10 to 5/10.  Except…  How many times can you JOLT someone with a stun gun?  Really?

What caught me off guard here is how the filmmakers spend the first half hour convincing you that Salt is someone you want to root for.  Then she goes off and kills a bunch of people leaving you wondering who the good guy is.  Then you decide and they flip everything again.  I get that this is what the director wants but it comes across as lying to me.

I didn’t really like that.  You’re just expected to believe she is bad and then good but mostly bad.  I spent most of the movie wondering if they would give some kind of hint that Salt had a plan of some type. 

Unfortunately, everything is rushed in the final 15 minutes or so.  It’s presented as a big twist ending but I had a ton of questions about her actions earlier in the movie.  My main problem with the story is how they handled the husband.

Maybe I just didn’t get it.  It happens.

I don’t think Salt will ever stand out as a big time Spy Actioner.  It just didn’t bring anything new to the table.

For example, put Salt next to Bourne…

I rest my case.

PS: It’s a good thing Tom Cruise turned this down to make Knight And Day… err…

PS #2 : Advancely is a word.