The plot involves CIA agent Evelyn Salt who is accused of being a Soviet sleeper agent on a deadly mission by a Russian defector. She is on the run and plots to gun the Russian president in American soil as he attends a public funeral there. The action thriller starts off in ‘Die Another Day’ fashion when we see a half-dressed Salt being tortured and interrogated in a North Korean prison cell.
This only heightens the thrill of watching the movie. Not limiting the scenes to action alone we also get a few incidents which speak of humanity as well as internal conflict.
This is a good story which wavers between virtue and evil and keeps us guess on where the main character’s loyalties lie. Salt may be portrayed as a dark character at first glance but that is only on the surface.
The balance between the tough act and the vulnerable femininity is nicely brought out when Jolie does the act of a panic-stricken wife desperately searching for her missing archeologist husband.
Another drawback in the action thriller is that Salt’s romance with her husband is hardly brought to the picture except in a few half hearted flashbacks. However these are not sufficient to capture the essence of their bond or the emotional crisis that she undergoes when her husband is murdered before her eyes.
‘Salt’ is clearly Jolie’s vehicle for her character overshadows the rest in every aspect. Bold action combined with feminine physicality makes her character positively atomic. She is thrilling to watch, swift-footed and makes a few super human moves that one cannot imagine a martial arts warrior performing let alone a trained female agent.
Fortunately Noyce who has credentials like ‘Dead Calm’ and ‘Patriot Games’ to his name knows how to direct action with a clear eye. Therefore the film does not suffer because of these drawbacks. Salt’s escape also signifies that a sequel is in the making.
The movie may have been inspired by JJ Abrams’ ‘Alias’ and James Cameron’s ‘Dark Angel’ which became popular on the small screen during the era. At the same time one cannot help thinking that this is Noyce’s idea of moulding the female action heroine who can challenge James Bond or Jason Bourne. At the same time she takes on some tried and tested stunts by Tom Cruise but brings on a freshness to the moves as the feisty heroine. ‘Salt’ is well crafted yet lacks logic. However it is high on its entertainment value so do not hesitate to pick it off the shelf to rent for the weekend.
Picture – Salt