Considering the time lapse between Angelina Jolie’s last film and “Salt,” she needed a strong leading role to put her back at the forefront of Hollywood’s leading ladies.
Not often does a woman play the leader-in-command, but Jolie manages to do just that in this action thriller that has you guessing who the actual suspect is until the end.
We’ve often seen male lead actors in movies as intense as this one, but switching the roles was the best idea for the screenplay. The film’s script was written brilliantly for the versatile Jolie. Whether you like action movies with international military, this movie doesn’t fit the typical genre, as it introduces us to dilemma and turmoil from the opening scene.
When CIA agent Evelyn Salt (Jolie) questions a Russian defector in a room that is monitored by fellow agents and superiors, he tells her that there is a mole in their department. It is through this Russian spy that we find out that Salt is to kill the Russian prime minister while he attends a funeral for the U.S. vice president.
Intelligence agent William Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Salt’s partner, Ted Winter, (Liev Schreiber) strengthen the film as other solid cast choices.
While realism is not the center of attention in “Salt,” it still delivers an action-packed film that delivers on all cinematic levels.
The script adds to the intensity and genuine sincerity that we feel toward Salt. As we flashback to her past, we discover pieces of her history, from her marriage to her childhood, which makes the plot more intriguing. While some may argue that there are too many edits, they don’t take away from the present scenarios. We know that Salt has to clear her name, and that becomes important to the audience.
At this point, it’s safe assume that Jolie has few — if any — flaws and handles her leading role as a man would. She isn’t afraid to play dirty to get even. While it may seem unlikely that she can take out tall, husky Russian men, she plays the role well enough that you see her engaged in every scene. Schreiber and Ejiofor are solid actors, but they stand in the shadow of this gutsy actress who steals every scene.
Leave any preconceived notions at the door, and be prepared to hold your breath throughout much of the film. Sit back, relax and put together the puzzle to see if Salt is innocent.