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Who Is Salt?
Seriously, who is Evelyn Salt? A Russian covert spy, sent and trained by Russia, in an elaborate ploy to bring down the United States, while working under the disguise of a married CIA agent? Or perhaps a victim of nothing more in a case of mistaken identity? I'll let you be the judge of that, as I'll try not to give that part away for those that have yet to see this film.
"Salt" is essentially about a CIA agent named Evelyn Salt, who due to series of events gets allegedly accused of being a covert Russian operative, by a Russian spy they capture. In the pursuit that follows, Evelyn walks onto a situation where it seems Russians have been using covert spies for years since the Cold War. Training Russian agents, during their early childhood years, in the ways of American culture and covert espionage. What makes the plot even more interesting is that it seems to tie in the story to historical events quite well; you'll literally believe that a situation like this could be happening even in our modern culture today. As it brilliantly ties in the movie to such events like the John F. Kennedy assassination, for instance. Little references like these not only establish a degree of plausibility to the story, but it adds a sense of reality to it as well.
Unlike traditional action films where you can expect to see a lot cliche one liners and simplistic story developments, "Salt" chooses another route. If anything, Angelina Jolie rarely says much throughout this movie. And whenever she does, it always seems to help move the story along as we learn more about her character. As even the audience is unsure of who Salt really is until around the ending. Which works great, as it keeps the audience interested in this deep and elaborate story of government conspiracy and covert global espionage. Unfortunately, the story does lack a lot of closure, as it never resolves anything at the end except who exactly Salt is. No, everything that happens, in this movie, is nothing more than a set up for a bigger story that looks to be told in future movie follow ups.
It seems in an era of sequels, "Salt" isn't that much different from any other action film out there. Which don't get me wrong if the story is too overly complex to be told in one movie, then I'd rather see it turn into a movie series, as nobody ever likes a rushed story line. However, it does kind of get annoying after a while as you watch a film and delve deep into it's story, then only to find out that you won't know what happens until the next movie is released.
As for the special effects, they're pretty much everything you'd expect from a movie like this, so there's no real shock there. Although some of the stunts seem a bit far fetched, in terms of reality. As in one scene, you'll see Salt leaping from truck to truck, during rush hour freeway traffic. Of course, I don't know if real CIA agents are capable of such feats nor is there anyway for me to confirm that it's plausible to achieve such a stunt. However, it just comes off as a bit far fetched if you ask me. Then again, I've seen a lot more unrealistic stunts by Stallone and Schwarzenneger's movies in the past, that were way more over the top than Jolie's in "Salt." Therefore, I guess I can't complain too much.
Speaking of Jolie, I have only one thing to say about her. Over the years, I always thought she was a great action hero. Possibly even better than Arnold Schwarzenneger and Sylvester Stallone. However, I always felt her biggest draw back was that like Dwayne Johnson, she couldn't land too many decent action movie roles. Sure, the "Tomb Raider" films had their moments, but the dialogue for those were so awful that it distracted from the story. However, it wasn't until she started making movies like "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" and "Wanted", that we finally started seeing her true potential. And with "Salt" giving her a lead role, I think it's safe to say that Angelina Jolie might be the next big action hero star. Maybe she won't be known for the same one liners like Bruce Willis or Stallone used to say, during their careers. However, she doesn't have to. No, her stories seem to run much deeper, and she has a heck of a lot of charisma to boot. Unlike other action movie heroes, she already comes off as tough and likable without resorting to say half a** one liners just so idiotic fans can imitate them.
Overall, "Salt" is definitely by far one of the best action films of the summer. Although I am a bit disappointed by the lack of closure around the ending, it's still a encompassing and interesting story. One that will not only blow your mind, but it'll also make you think that in theory something could happen like this in real life. It's definitely worth seeing if you want to see a great action film. Just don't expect to see a lot of closure around the ending.