Evelyn Salt is a CIA agent and highly respected by all, including her boss, Ted Winter. Out of the blue, a Russian spy walks into their offices and offers a vital piece of information: the President of Russia will be assassinated during his forthcoming visit to New York City to attend the funeral of the recently deceased U.S. Vice President. The name of the assassin: Evelyn Salt. Concerned about the safety of her husband, who she cannot contact, she goes on the run. Winter refuses to accept that she is a mole or a double agent but her actions begin to raise doubts. Just who is Evelyn Salt and what is she planning?Written by
The movie was originally written with Salt as a male (Edwin A. Salt), and Tom Cruise was approached to play him. Ultimately, he backed out and the script was rewritten with a female lead and Angelina Jolie was cast. See more »
While escaping in the police car, Salt is in the back, and the semi-conscious policeman has his foot on the accelerator. Salt steers while leaning over the seat and over the policeman's body. Close up shots show the policeman's foot on the gas pedal, and Salt accelerates the car by tasing the officer, forcing his leg to extend. Salt also changes gear from forward to reverse and back; this would not be possible here as automatic-transmission cars require the brake pedal to be depressed while the gear is changed. See more »
[being dragged out and tied down]
Please let me go home. Please, I'm not who you think I am. I'm really not who you think I am. Please. Please, I'm not a spy.
North Korean Torturer:
You are a spy!
I'm not a spy. Please let me go home.
North Korean Torturer:
I am not a spy! I am a business woman. I work for Rink Petroleum and Gas. Please call them. I work for Rink Petroleum!
North Korean Torturer:
You are here to sabotage our nuclear ambitions. Yes?
[gasoline funnel being forced into her mouth]
I am not a spy! I am not a spy!
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Jolie proves she can play rough in Kurt Wimmer's Salt
While I can't say that I was awaiting Angelina Jolie's latest outing with bated breath, I was intrigued by the fact that Salt was originally intended to be a Tom Cruise vehicle.
Tom's waning box office pulling-power aside, this sex-swap was a smart move by writer Kurt Wimmer (Equilibrium) as it gives Jolie the chance to prove that she can lay the smack-down on just as many henchmen as the boys can. Having her rather than him as the duplicitous CIA agent Evelyn Salt, Wimmer gives a fresh angle to a plot that could easily have been a boring instalment of the Bourne series. Salt also sees the welcome return of Russian villains to the cinema after a long period in which Middle Eastern terrorists were severely over-worked.
When a Soviet defector strolls into the CIA and announces that Salt is a sleeper agent who will kill the Russian president, she goes on the run. Fearing for the safety of her husband Michael, Salt sets out to find him before agents Winter (Liev Schreiber) and Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor) catch up with her. The question of where Salt's loyalties lie is the true source of tension and Jolie plays it cool, gaining and dismissing the audience's trust several times over.
Schreiber and Ejiofor draw the short straws in terms of dialogue and simply run after Jolie for the entire movie without doing anything of significance. Hopefully, if the proposed sequel goes ahead, Wimmer will be able to correct this glaring oversight.
The action scenes are sharply directed and Jolie finally gets her hands dirty, particularly in the opening exchanges where she's being tortured in a Korean prison. If that wasn't enough, she also flies down an elevator shaft by leaping from wall to wall – it was a silly effect but added a cheesy, fanciful element to what would have been an entirely too serious movie.
Consequently the first 40 minutes are fast and furious as Salt evades her fellow agents by any means necessary but not to be outdone, the rest of the film takes a left turn and continues to surprise with some serious fisticuffs, gun-play and high-speed car chases. Admittedly, for all its skill and enthusiasm, Salt's finale is a little over-the-top and it wanders into well-worn ground without knowing when to stop. Aside from this minor gripe, Salt is a well-directed action movie that delivers us a potential new franchise, an intriguing lead character and an exciting close to a lacklustre summer.
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