film Review

Angelina Jolie’s latest sees her play C.I.A. Operative Evelyn Salt. When a mysterious Russian claiming to be a defector comes to the C.I.A. and claims that Salt is a Russian spy, action, mystery and intrigue follow.

Sony has stated that they are keen for this to form a franchise and on the basis of this film, it deserves one. Jolie is impressive here; you will fully believe that a 120-pound woman can kick the crap out of at-least fifty men all of whom are twice her size. She glides through a performance that demands an array of emotions from being rather
innocent to sadistic. Her support is pretty decent, even Captain Cardboard himself Liev Schreiber manages at one point to portray anger.

Unlike the Bourne films the audience is kept in the dark over the true identity of the leading lady, a tact that breathes fresh air into a familiar formula. Apart from a couple of cumbersomely laid convenient plot points and a degree of predictability, the script stands up well. It is aided by a back-story that would usually seem a bit ridiculous but
has been given resonance by recent real life front-page news stories on Russian sleeper agents.

Philip Noyce is a solid hand when it comes to the action; the set pieces are exciting and rarely outstay their welcome. The action is helped somewhat from a genuinely Oscar worthy score from James Newton Howard, a score that effortlessly cranks up the tension without becoming imposing.

An exciting climax gives the film the crescendo it needs before leaving it open ended for a sequel. A spy thriller that can claim to be thrilling. The film doesn’t pander to the audience and refreshingly for blockbusters these days comes in a just over 100 minutes. Too
many films get bogged down in convoluted plots and overlong action set pieces. This is a tidy action thriller and is well worth the watch.

Best performance: Angelina Jolie.
Watch this if you liked: Mission Impossible, The Bournes.

Originally the film was written with a male lead, namely Tom Cruise, in mind. When Cruise backed out it was re-written.

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