Here we go again. This summer has been so bad for movies that they’re now starting to look alike. “Salt” is another one that comes down to one big long chase and yet it can’t come up with nearly enough intrigue, suspense, or decent action sequences to help you get rid of the blah feeling.
Angelina Jolie plays CIA agent Evelyn Salt, who is accused by a Russian defector of being an assassin for the Russians. The movie hits its high point in the opening fifteen minutes but then devolves into the chase, during which Evelyn runs, desperate to find her husband. The action is pretty generic stuff. Angelina jumps from car hood to car hood (a feat we already saw the Tom Cruise character in “Knight and Day” do already), cars crash, explosions go off, and people fire lots of bullets, most of which for nothing but effect.
Jolie commits herself fully, kicking butt and scaling window sills and elevator rails, but nothing that really gets the adrenaline pumping. Also like “Knight and Day”, “Salt” tries to convince us that the main character has possibly gone rogue, something this movie at least tries to sell with some nice midway plot twists. Only the character is predictable, and the filmmakers seem to think that to keep up the ruse, they have to limit Salt’s personality, making her hard to root for. Meanwhile, the supporting characters (including Liev Schreiber and Chiwetel Ejiofor as agents trying to bring her down) are underdeveloped blank slates that don’t add much. It’s hard to care about any of this.
As straightforward action movie, “Salt” has Jolie’s athleticism and beauty, which can go a long way, but like most movies this year the filmmakers seem to not care to add nuance or any exciting “wow” factor to a conventional formula.