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October 9, 2017

Salt (2010) --- "A White Crystalline Substance That Gives Seawater Its Taste As Well As Seasons & Preserves Food Can Also Be Someone’s Last Name."

Plot Summary
When Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) became a CIA officer, she swore an oath to duty, honor, and country. But, when a defector accuses her of being a Russian spy, Salt's oath is put to the test. Now a fugitive, Salt must use every skill gained from years of training and experience to evade capture, but the more she tries to prove her innocence, the more guilty she seems. (1)

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     Salt is about Evelyn Salt (Angelina JolieLara Croft Tomb Raider, Wanted) a CIA agent who is accused of being a Russian espionage spy, whose mission is to assassinate President of Russia during the funeral of the American Vice-President. Salt is a cross between the Jason Bourne films and No Way Out (1987, with Kevin Costner). The plot is interesting because we never know exactly where Evelyn Salt’s loyalties lie or better who she really is. Sometimes this works in the movie but there are some moments that make it a bit hard to root for her. For instance, the plot idea that it's Jolie against the world feels a little unrealistic and a bit cliché. Of course, this plot idea is used in Jason Bourne and Mission: Impossible (MI) but at the same time it is used differently in both films. Perhaps it is because Bourne and Ethan Hunt (MI) always had a sidekick or a help, maybe not throughout every film but at least they had one person they could rely on for a few moments. Maybe it would have worked better if Salt knew about a certain character’s loyalties (which we won’t find out until the end) early on then it would have made for a better film. The film’s ending is not exactly an ending, perhaps it is because they were planning on doing a sequel. However, that has not happened and as such the ending ends up reduces the height of the climax, which doesn’t help out the film overall because the climax is already stretched out between fighting and information dump.

     On a positive note, I admire the cool skills and tricks that Salt was able to do and use throughout the movie. One in the particular is a skill she has acquired courtesy of her husband (August Diehl – Inglorious Bastards, Allied) who is an entomologist. In addition, the action sequences where we get to see her fighting skills and evading skill (that are a little reminiscent of Jackie Chan) are amazing. The cast was actually pretty good in their roles despite being a bit lackluster and unrealistic at times. The pace of the film is fast and corresponds with its ‘explosive’ action scenes. This allows for the film to be focused on bringing a lot of energy to the film, so it is no surprise that there is no time for romance or sub-plots.

     Overall, Salt is an entertaining action thriller that has some interesting plot points. However, since the plot is a bit of a mess, I found it to be best to not concern yourself with it and instead to focus on the film’s action which there are a lot of. There are twists but the story is predictable, however, the action sequences almost make up for it. Not the best movie of its kind but certainly not the worst. If you like spy thrillers of all kinds, are a fan of Angelina Jolie or you enjoy/believe in big conspiracies theories then I recommend Salt for you.

"My name is Evelyn Salt."
-Evelyn Salt

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  3.2 of 5 star
Worth Buying:  3.2 of 5 stars

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Movies Similar 
The Bourne Series: Identity (2002)
The Bourne Series: Supremacy (2004)
The Bourne Series: Ultimatum (2007)
The Bourne Series: Jason Bourne (2016)
007: Casino Royale (2006)
007: Quantum of Solace (2008)
007: Skyfall (2012)
Haywire (2012)
Hanna (2011)
John Wick (2014)
John Wick 2 (2016)
Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)
The Tourist (2010)
xXx (2002)
xXx: State of the Union (2005)
xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017)

Cast & Crew
Directed by Phillip Noyce           
Writing Credits Kurt Wimmer
Produced by 
     William M. Connor              ...      associate producer
     Lorenzo di Bonaventura     ...      producer
     Ryan Kavanaugh                   ...      executive producer
     Ric Kidney                              ...      executive producer
     Paul A. Levin                         ...      associate producer
     Sunil Perkash                        ...      producer
     David Ready                           ...      production executive
     Mark Vahradian                   ...      executive producer
Music by James Newton Howard          
Cinematography by Robert Elswit
Film Editing by Stuart Baird and John Gilroy         
Casting By Avy Kaufman
Production Design by Scott Chambliss         
Art Direction by Teresa Carriker-Thayer       
Set Decoration by Leslie E. Rollins     
Costume Design by Sarah Edwards     

Angelina Jolie                 ...      Evelyn Salt
Liev Schreiber                 ...      Ted Winter
Chiwetel Ejiofor             ...      Peabody
Daniel Olbrychski         ...      Orlov
August Diehl                    ...      Mike Krause
Daniel Pearce                  ...      Young Orlov
Hunt Block                       ...      U.S. President Lewis
Andre Braugher             ...      Secretary of Defense
Olek Krupa                       ...      Russian President Matveyev
Cassidy Hinkle               ...      12-Year-Old Chenkov
Corey Stoll                        ...      Shnaider
Vladislav Koulikov       ...      Chenkov's Father
Olya Zueva                       ...      Chenkov's Mother
Yara Shahidi                   ...      Salt's Young Neighbor
Gary Wilmes                    ...      Advisor to U.S. President
Jordan Lage                     ...      National Security Advisor
Jeremy Davidson           ...      President's Secret Service Agent 

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