Reviewed on 2011 August 15
Convoluted spy yarn overflowing with people who are practically quadruple agents, possible sleepers, and a 95-pound woman who could make Chuck Norris hide under his bed. Still, there’s worse ways to spend a lazy Friday evening.
Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) is a CIA agent, admired by her boss Ted Winter (Liev Schreiber) and happily married to her adoring husband Michael (August Diehl). She’s a tough woman, impressing her boss with her composure during her stint as an “uninvited guest” of the North Koreans. She seems to bounce back admirably and when we see her at her job, Ted is playfully teasing her about using company time to make that night’s anniversary plans with her husband. He promises to shove her out the door early to get home to Michael.
Of course, life happens. A tough-looking old Soviet, Vasily Orlov (Daniel Olbrychski), picks this night of all nights to defect, and Evelyn thinks she’s going to be there battling red tape when she should be uncorking the champagne at home with Michael. The red tape is soon the least of her worries. Vasily announces an assassination is going to go down very soon, and that Salt is the agent who is going to pull it off. She immediately protests, but the CIA team decides to detain her for questioning. She escapes, and from this point on so do our brain cells.
Apparently, this movie inhabits the same realm of reality as Wanted. The difference is that Wanted knew it was silly and was proud of it. This kind of dragged and was almost too goofy to be entertaining in a few spots. I watched the 104-minute director’s cut, which — from what I understand — makes more sense that the theatrical release. I’m not saying it’s a bad movie or not entertaining, just rather dumb. Jolie and Schreiber handled the silliness well, and the plot would have been made of win if it had been fleshed out more. It feels like director Philip Noyce and writer Kurt Wimmer focused more on style than real substance.
Two chocolate morsels. It’s okay, but there’s loads of better movies out there.