Thursday, January 27, 2011

Under 250: Salt

It's true that Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) is a worthy female action hero.  She could easily rival Jason Bourne in a madcap race to maintain their individual identities.  Salt is badass, a master of disguise, brilliant with nearly every weapon, and truly spectacular at timing her escapes.  So, yeah, Salt and Bourne could run together.  The thing about that is, though, I don't much like the Bourne trilogy either.  Salt belongs to the category of political espionage thriller that's grittily toned non-stop action.  It doesn't take its time getting to the good stuff, it hits the ground running and doesn't take a breather until the credits roll.  The problem?  That much action gets real tedious, real fast.  Like Bourne, Salt depends on the development of its primary character.  We're supposed to side with her, to trust her as she discovers her Soviet past and embarks on a mission to save face and prevent America from being thrown into World War III.  Of course, Salt's progression from 2-dimensional antihero to 3-dimensional antihero is stymied by uneven storylines, constant disruption, and some genuinely confusing moments of "is she or isn't she" allegiances.  The result, ultimately, is a boring, forgettable end product that while "ok" feels like nothing more than an empty calorie popcorn flick.  It's an unimaginative spy flick that made me yearn for the delicious flights of improbably fancy in 1960's Bondian takes on the genre. In all honesty?  Jolie's lost something.  As action heroines go, she was better as video game vixen Lara Croft.  At least there she had some personality (and some muscle). 


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