A Few Thoughts on Salt

I don’t have much to say about Salt, especially since the movie lasts about as long as it’ll take you to read this.

So here are a few quick notes I made:

  • What a cute little action movie. Dumb as a bag of hammers. But refreshing in its lack of (apparent) CGI and its embrace of old-fashioned chase sequences.
  • The coincidences are breathtakingly preposterous, and the cliches (including the red-letter readouts and bedroom-voice alarm-system warnings) are surprisingly abundant. But it’s so fast and efficient, 100 minutes feel like 60.
  • It’s nice to have Phillip Noyce behind the wheel of an action flick again. (I have fond memories of Patriot Games.)
  • You gotta love that a woman who may or may not be a Russian spy goes on the run, at one point, in a Russian fox-fur hat and stole in broad daylight.
  • I wonder if Roger Ebert is realizing that percentage-point download/upload readouts are becoming as common, or more so, than the good ol’ red-letter-digital bomb-countdowns as suspense devices.
  • Sequel? Sure, but why not make this the pilot to a TV series? It seems more suited to the small screen. Its ambitions are certainly small enough, and I could feel my metabolism slowing down the way it does when I watch amusing action TV.
  • This movie is a perfect in-flight movie. It’s short enough, diverting enough, it won’t offend the person sitting next to you.
  • This is the kind of movie where a grizzled, high-ranking Russian agent, while being interrogated by the FBI, starts to explain himself with a story by saying, “1975. [pause] The Cold War.” You know, for kids.
  • I’m tired of seeing Chiwetel Ejiofor in these roles. I want him to be the lead in something again. Dirty Pretty Things was eight freaking years ago, and he’s still getting these parts? Come on. Frigging Redbelt, people!
  • Steven Greydanus wrote in his review:

    I would say she’s Hollywood’s only female star capable of persuasively knocking around a half dozen armed male agents, except that Scarlett Johansson also pulled it off in Iron Man 2

    I can’t think of many Hollywood stars who could make us wonder if her character might be a Russian agent. But I can think of plenty who could persuasively knock around a half dozen armed male agents. Halle Berry? Michelle Rodriguez? Hilary Swank? Milla Jovovich? Jennifer Garner? They may not be the box office draw that Jolie is, but I can see any of them pulling this off – especially Garner since she did it so convincingly in Alias. (Actually, I wish this *had* been Garner. I miss Sidney Bristow.)

  • It’s remarkable how incredibly restrained the film is when it comes to Jolie’s sex appeal. Unless I missed it, the closest they came to making it a factor was in the finale, for a few moments, through a window. And even there, it was little more than the voice and the eyes.

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  • Rick Ro.

    As additional evidence for tyler’s endorsement of Summer Glau, she was also in the short-lived Terminator tv series.

    Milla Jovovich also brings to mind her recent partner in the Resident Evil series, Ali Larter. I just saw the preview for the new R.E. movie and it looks like they BOTH kick butt.

  • reader

    Yes to Michelle Rodriguez, Jennifer Garner, and Milla Jovovich. HECK NO to Halle Berry and Hilary Swank. And ScarJo? That wasn’t anything to write home about. She’s hot, but she’s no action star. She just had a really good stunt woman.

  • tyler

    Summer Glau (as River Tam) knocked around a roomful of bad guys pretty persuasively in Serenity.