Rating: 3 of 5
The most significant thing to say about this movie is that it would have been terrible if Tom Cruise had starred in it as originally planned. Because he’s good at being a pop icon and worked well in his youth for things like Top Gun and Days of Thunder (both Jerry Bruckheimer movies). But if you want something that has any emotional weight you don’t call him. And this movie needed emotional weight.
As you know from the previews, Evelyn Salt is a CIA agent accused of being a Russian spy. She insists she’s innocent and goes on the run. What follows actually has the substance of a Bourne film, political intrigue and fights that are deeply personal in nature; emotional rather than strictly for survival. Plus, like Bourne, Salt is a little bit MacGuyver, having to be ingenious in finding ways out of the places she finds herself in. It’s interesting and has good action and surprisingly a little surprising
All of the performances are good. Though the performance score would have gone up if they’d cast someone other than Liev Schreiber. Action sequences are decent (the first car chase does go on about 2 trucks too long). But the thing I’m realizing is that I like hand to hand fight scenes more than shoot outs or car chases. There are enough of those here, however that it works for me.
This movie definitely has an emotional cord to it, and it works I think the best that it can. But I couldn’t help feeling that it could have worked, better. I just don’t know how.
Aside from all that, it’s always fun to see Angelina Jolie be a badass in a mildly inventive story with a dash of intrigue and just enough heart to pull it off.