Today I went to the cinema for the third Tuesday in a row primarily because of the cheap Tuesday ticket pricing ($5.99). Regular prices here in Canada are pre–pos–terous. It’s $10.99 for regular nights. And that’s not in 3D. Just add an additional three of my hard-earned dollars on top of that. I hate 3D, so that’s why whenever I see any movie trailer that is suffixed by “…in 3D” at the end, I throw furious faux-kung fu fists in the air.
Anyway, Salt was fun.
No spoilers abound here.
There was little calm in the movie. Once the action started, that was it, you either followed it or got left behind. Watching Angelina exert herself in the chases while managing to remaining calm AND thinking 2 steps ahead of her predators was astounding. I did have a bit of problem trying to follow the plot because there was so much twisting involving Russia, parents, car crashes, and Lee Harvey Oswald. Lost looked like a straight-edge ruler in one corner compared to this. But in the end, I got it. Thankfully.
But here’s what I took from the movie:
- The beginning of the movie shows Salt being tortured in North Korea. Stripped to her underwear, the closeups of her body reveal what has been done to her. She’s been battered, bruised, re-brusied for who-knows-how-long. She’s later forced to swallow a strange liquid (probably some sort of gasoline cause that probably hurts like hell, I imagine) by the prison guards. The brutality of the torture has so much gravity that at the end of the ordeal, you’ve already been pulled to her side and you’re with her 100% of the way regardless of her motivations. You rally along with her and await for her catharsis even though you have no idea who to antagonize.
- Aside from the action, I really appreciated that Evelyn Salt was not overly sexualized and objectified. Angelina Jolie’s sexiness (which usually draws hordes of men to her films) is really downplayed in Salt. Aside from what I mentioned above, she is never in a state of undress. Her wardrobe is conservative and mature (plenty of drab shades). We don’t see her removing/donning clothes in a sexualized style. No shots of her behind filling the frame. Or shots of her cleavage from perverted eagle-eye view. OK but there’s this one time she removes and uses her _____ to cover the security camera lens. Run your imagination train here, if you haven’t seen it. In the end, she never utilizes her sexuality/body to get her carry out her plan, which probably makes sense because her predators want to beat solid answers out of her. But it’s surprisingly refreshing to see a woman with a history of sexiness not banking on her body to draw numbers to the theater.
In comparison, you see cleavage galore from Megan Fox in super-slow-motion in Transformers 2: Kling Kling Klang Klang Boomz!. And a lot of us know how Transformers is living proof that slow-mo cleavage cannot cover up how overboard your film is with noise/CGI and whupwhupwhup sounds.
Angelina did a lot of her own stunts for this film. Her running looked like sprints. Her jumping looked like leaps. And when it looked like it was supposed to hurt, it really did. The action is at times over-the-top but never gratuitous. Not like a car slamming into a mid-air helicopter or flying from a motorcycle onto the windshield of a helicopter kind of gratuitous. I look forward to Jolie reprising her kickass role for the Salt franchise.
I enjoyed this movie. Great pacing, but why is Russia still America’s enemy? Can’t we pick on… Canada for once? They could send their moose. Or is it mooses? Or Moses. Whichever. The movie isn’t perfect, but was definitely worth my money.
I assure you that when Salt out on Blu-Ray I will be editing the chase scenes to some fast-paced drum-n-bass. Now that’s my perfect action movie.
ps. If you look at the two pictures of this post, you notice that Angelina Jolie appears to be shooting Megan Fox. Purely intentional.