Angelina Jolie Lures Viewers Into Theaters For "Salt"
The question of who is Evelyn Salt is the catch-phrase that the spy thriller "Salt" has been selling all over town. The answer, in regard to the character isn’t really that important. The bottom line with "Salt" is, if you like Angelina Jolie, you’ll want to see this film.
Originally developed with Tom Cruise in mind as lead Edwin Salt, the film and the character were deemed to overly resemble Cruise’s Ethan Hunt character from the "Mission Impossible" films. "Salt" had director and script changes, as well as casting adjustments, and soon evolved into the female spy thriller franchise that viewers see today.
"Salt" brings nothing new to the genre of spy/counterspy thrillers except for Jolie, but the film doesn’t do anything to embarrass itself either, more than holding its own with modern day spy thrillers as well as with the blockbusters from the summer of 2010.
Jolie kicks ass with the greatest of ease, and the twists and turns that go with the spy thriller genre territory are more than omnipresent in "Salt." For many savvy moviegoers in the audience, the twists may feel obvious, but "Salt’s" frenetic pace ensures that the viewer is never really sure who Salt is until the very end.
Jolie plays Evelyn Salt, a CIA operative with an emphasis in Russia and other communist nations, who is a valuable enough commodity that the U.S. acknowledges her existence and negotiates a spy swap for her when she is captured in North Korea. Upon her return to the U.S. she interrogates a Russian “walk-in” who claims to have information valuable to the CIA and national security.
The information turns out to be that Salt is a Russian sleeper cell who is about to wreak havoc on the U.S. and Russia both. The movie, and Salt, hit the ground running from there and never look back.
Jolie more than convincingly pulls off the role of Evelyn Salt, even though she admits that, at this point in her career, she is more mom than action hero bad-ass. Her looks (and her lips) have not missed a beat since delivering twins in June 2008, and she is the only female lead in Hollywood today who could do this film justice.
Although "Salt" is all about Angelina, she has capable backup in the form of Liev Schreiber as Ted Winter and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Counter-Intelligence Officer Peabody. Schreiber is his usual spooky self and Ejiofor has found quite a niche for himself as the supporting role “company man.”
In the end, "Salt" lives and dies with Jolie and if viewers like her enough to buy the ticket, they’ll likely be glad that they took the ride.
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