Picture this - Cruise or Daniel Craig or Matt Damon dodge the bad guys, beat up people with nil emotion and hobnob on highways amidst gleefully indulging in disguises, bruise-less escapes from a hailstorm of bullets, building homemade ammunition and emerge unscathed from vehicle blasts! ! Then there is Angelina Jolie, who essentially for all purposes is the feminine answer to James Bond in her new film ‘Salt’. Undoubtedly, there’s no two-ways that it has to be Jolie, the only female star in H-Town, who more than measures up to any of the men.
When Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) a CIA agent is asked to interrogate a Russian chap, mid-conversation he casually accuses her of being a Russian spy. Jolie doesn’t take this well, she wants to head home & have a candle-night with husband for the wedding anniversary. Before you say ‘huh!’ she vanishes, makes a dash for the nearest exit, whilst her fellow agents stare helplessly at video monitors. Why is she running you ask? Too ensure we audiences stay put is my best guess (there is no another reason to sit thru the rest 60 odd mins). the big question - Is she a double agent (or was that triple) or not, forms the remaining reels of the film.
Less on suspense, there is tension and all that, while our lady jumps from bridges, leaps onto moving trucks, balances her frame on building ledges with an ease that would put many an olympic acrobats to shame. Stunts that would result in serious broken bones or certain death to an average joe are nothing for Salt, which in time become ridiculous and even laughable for those not focusing on the pout and the figure. It's sad that the writers decided to spend more time on the lead going from pose to pose instead of exploring a potentially fiery character. So everyone is prancing around asking, “Who is Evelyn Salt?” like they are playing a game of ‘Who wants to become a millionaire?’ but for an attentive viewer the true story in unraveled much before climax. Finally, its only the chase which forms the point - more or less.
Second thoughts: Salt was originally written for Tom Cruise & the character was named Edwin Salt. Cruise didn’t go along as it was similar to Mission Impossible and he was tilting more in favor of Knight and Day. The plot was altered, Cruise became Jolie and Edwin became Evelyn. So would Salt be any different had the movie gone the ‘Cruise’ way? I don’t think so. The sex change is what gives the film a fresh feel and much needed uplift amidst the predictable and ludicrous plot.
Quick take: Salty enough, but probably in a little incorrect measure for the Indian palate. The movie is a fun roller coaster ride - implausibility and all. Watch it for the stunts and action, Angelina’s fine & sincere efforts, still opt for a matinee show if you must.