Salt- a short movie review

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!

Comments

  1. Scarlett says

    I’ve heard from reviews that Salt is like Jenniger Garber’s Alias, only better. In which case, HERE’S MY MONEY!!!

  2. says

    With thanks to our commenters, I’ve edited the article (1) to reflect that the part WAS written for a male actor and (2) to link to the article where we mentioned it. I’ve also deleted all the comments talking about who Jolie’s part was written for and all that. Why? See the notice above the comment box re: when to comment and when to email. Now, let’s actually discuss the movie/review.

    • sbg says

      Thanks, Jenn. I wasn’t sure if it was within my scope to do the same, so I resorted to snark. My bad! :)

  3. Jeremy says

    Arguably, Salt does pass the Bechdel test, if you count the scene where Salt tells the neighbor girl to take care of her dog for her and asks her about her homework.

  4. DNi says

    I thought the movie was decent, but I thought Salt the character didn’t really have a strong characterization. If you asked me to describe, say, Daniel Craig’s James Bond without mentioning what he is or anything he does, I could still write paragraphs worth of information about him: that he’s ruthless, that he’s a womanizer, he’s resolute, and so on.

    But with Salt, I didn’t really get much. She’s incredibly resourceful, which was cool. It’s always fun to watch somebody MacGyver their way through a situation. But beyond that, I can’t really think of anything that makes her unique.

    • says

      Thing is, James Bond has over 25 years of history to the character, in movies and books; to me, it’s hardly a fair comparison. You go into the film knowing what he’s supposed to be like. The template is set.

      Salt was shown that she *does* have deep feelings, appreciation, feel love, and hates as much as she loves. She is told what her family origin is, and it’s one of the lynchpins to the rest of her actions in the movie.

      In a scene with her husband, you can see her holding back her emotions-if she doesn’t, she knows she’ll be dead in moments. She’s as ruthless as Bond is. She kills only those she believe deserve it, or are going to harm others with no reason, or for selfish reasons.

      I can’t really say that I think James Bond is unique. At least, not at this stage. If there are more Salt movies, I’m sure they’ll go more into her character. (of course, this is what someone said over at the Descipable Me review–and a sequel in that instance might change my mind about that film, also)

      What made Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley unique? If you only saw Alien, not the other movies in that series.

      • DNi says

        Thing is, James Bond has over 25 years of history to the character, in movies and books; to me, it�s hardly a fair comparison. You go into the film knowing what he�s supposed to be like. The template is set.

        That’s why I said Daniel Craig’s James Bond. Yeah, Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace had decades worth of material to draw upon, but for all intents and purposes Craig’s Bond is a unique entity from the suave, tuxedo-clad Bonds that came before. And you I got a pretty clear picture of Craig’s James Bond in the opening sequences of Casino Royale, a picture that was reinforced and then challenged as the movies progressed.

        Salt was shown that she *does* have deep feelings, appreciation, feel love, and hates as much as she loves. She is told what her family origin is, and it�s one of the lynchpins to the rest of her actions in the movie.

        I’m not arguing that she didn’t. Rather that, I just didn’t identify with her as a character. She never really made any mistakes, and she didn’t seem to have any character flaws.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.