Salt stars Angelina Jolie. I hardly knew what this film was about until a few days ago! But I am glad I found out about it.
Some of you might remember my review of The Long Kiss Goodnight, which starred Geena Davis as a kick-butt assassin who finds her inner maternal side without sacrificing her kick-assness. In Salt, Jolie stars as a super-spy. She starts out as a prisoner in a North Korean jail, being tortured. She’s tough. She never confesses to working for the CIA, and she never gives her secrets away-except to her spider-studying fiance, who did everything he could in order to get her out. Two years after her removal from the North Korean jail, she’s back at work, doing her job, when a Russian comes in, fingering Salt as a deep cover Russian agent sent to the US years before to kill the Russian president.
From there on, it’s a huge chase movie, with Salt jumping from truck top to truck top, getting past multiple trained Secret Service, FBI, and CIA guards. Is she a deep cover Russian spy? Well, that’s something I’m not going to spoil.
No, the movie does not pass the Bechdel Test. She spends no time at all talking with another woman at all. She is surrounded by men, from beginning to end. There is a sprinkling of women in the movie who have small parts. But this is Jolie’s movie, all the way. Salt is smart-and she knows she’s smarter than most. And she’s determined. Once she gets an idea or goal in mind, nothing will stop her from winning. The part was originally written for a male actor; her male fiance even fills the role most female fiances do. The gender roles were switched, and it didn’t make a difference.
The film is relentless in the way that the new James Bond movies are relentless. The action just never stops, hardly lets up. I hope there will be a Salt series. It was a whole lot of fun, especially if you like the occasional action flick starring a tough, intelligent woman. Go, Salt!