Salt is a spy thriller reviving Cold War rivalry between US and Russia. With the recent events regarding spy-swap reminiscent of the Cold War era, the movie seems quite relevant too. The images of the beautiful Russian spy Ana Chapman did cross my mind while watching the movie. I was thinking, if this could be the ultimate PR gimmick!
The movie plot is as non-sensical or meaningless as most other Hollywood action movies. Though, Ms. Jolie as Evelyn Salt did bring some conviction to the action scenes, that she was required to do. When the movie started with Salt denying that she is a spy during an interrogation in North Korea. She is rather doing a desk job at CIA working with boss and friend Ted Winter (Liev Schreiber). When she is delayed on the day of her anniversary to interrogate possible Russian defector Orlov (Daniel Olbrychski).
Once the Russian defector states that Salt is going to kill the Russian President who is attending funeral of the US Vice President, the cat and mouse chase starts. WIth CIA, FBI and all other agencies hot on her heels, Jolie manages to do some death defying stunts like jumping from one truck container to another, from one vehicle to another and even doing a superbike ride against the traffic and all the while dodging a thousand bullets coming her way. She does all these with ruthless precision and elan. While you are wondering, if Salt is a Russian spy, while you continue to believe, it can't be so...after killing the Russian President, she gets united with her Russian partners including Orlov, who had also by the way raised her in some desolate Russian camp to prepare for the day to take revenge against America. Now, she gets further directions on the bigger plan. Of course, the film makers want you to get your assumptions wrong, and there are certain twists and turns...which I would rather not announce...in the end, it looked quite simple and predictable. But, you wouldn't mind such predictable moves as they look good, when they are on...only when it gets over, you think, what nonsensical, meaningless stuff, it was! What it looks like is not what its supposed to be...There is also counter-intelligence expert Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who is gunning for her and manages to be there at all places, though just about avoid catching her.
Angelina Jolie don's a man's role in Salt. No doubt about that and it's even said that screenwriter Kurt Wimmer originally wrote the role for a man. It's a kick-ass action movie made for a man, primarily men audience - what else can you ask for? A beautiful woman to keep you engrossed on the screen and actions, that you anyways love to watch on big screen. A deadly combination, isn't it? And if Mandira Bedi could get women to watch television, who knows what Ms. Jolie could do for women and action films. Ms. Jolie even takes the garb of a man with a face mask to enter a high security area...and does manage to hide her face behind a man's.
And from the ending, it looks like, we are looking at a sequel, unless it's already being planned. Could it be a successful franchise like Bond? Hmm...too early to predict. But, a good start. Bond operates with a team. Here, she is alone. Good luck, Ms. Salt.
Couldn't help wondering, if there could be a movie based on India-Pakistan spying incidents. Bollywood, anyone listening? Will Ms. Chopra or Ms. Kapoor rise to the occasion?