130. Salt (2010)

Everything Bond can do, Salt can do better.

7.5/10
Directed by: Phillip Noyce
Written by: Kurt Wimmer
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber and Chiwetel Ejiofor

With a Bourne-esque pace and a rather cheesy premise, Angela Jolie and Phillip Noyce reunite after ten years since their Bone Collector days for the spy-thriller, Salt. In combining Jolie’s well-trained action performance (what with Tomb Raider, Mr & Mrs Smith and Wanted tucked under her belt) and Noyce’s keen spatial awareness that make chase sequences easy to follow despite their speed, Salt is one heart-racing, expertly executed work.

Getting away with it

In terms of plot, it’s relatively simple: Evelyn Salt (Jolie) finds herself on the run when a Russian defector accuses her of being a sleeper spy in the CIA, working towards assassinating the Russian president. While there are plenty of twists, inconsistencies and holes in the logic, Salt only uses its story as a means of executing punchy, gritty action that emphasizes Jolie’s perfect performance as a strong, unstoppable woman.

In fact, Jolie’s conviction and strength as a female action hero is what ultimately stands out in Salt.  While female roles have been sexualised (Laura Mulvey wrote a nice paper on it if you’d like a read) more often than not in action movies, Jolie’s performance in Salt proves that it is possible to get the job done without including a strip show for the men in the audience. Instead, Salt relies on pure explosions, martial combat and Commie intrigue to keep audiences hooked.

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