Friday, August 13, 2010

Thursday Night at the Movies - Salt

This was an excellent movie.

Angelina Jolie plays Evelyn Salt, a CIA agent. One day, a guy with a bad Russian, accent walks into the office and says that he has important information. They put him in a room and Salt interviews him. He says that a Russian agent is going to assassinate the president, in New York City, tomorrow. She is not buying his story. As she gets up to leave (this isn't a spoiler since it's in the trailer), he says, "The agent's name is Evelyn Salt". All hell breaks loose.The rest of the trailer is Salt being chased around by various governmental agencies while she is doing mysterious things. The trailers are pretty exciting and the movie delivers. A movie like this, of course, relies on it's action scenes and they are quite well done. An interview I read with the director says that they tried to design the stunts as something an actual person could do. I think they were stretching the limits of what they meant by an "actual person", but there are no totally unbelievable stunts in the movie. She does jump off an overpass and land on the top of a speeding 18-wheeler but at least she winces a bit.

But what I really liked about the movie was the story and the twists and turns. There are at least 5 things that happen in this movie that I totally didn't expect. How often can you say that about a recent movie? I don't mean, "Well, I didn't expect that car to blow up like that". What I mean is that the characters do things I didn't expect. But the things they do are consistent with the story and the internal logic of the movie.

It also leaves you thinking about what happened. Without giving anything away, I can tell you that Salt's motivation is never clear. There are several times when you think you know what she's doing but that is mainly based on your preconceived notions of where the plot of a movie like this may be going. At the end, you really don't know who she is and why she did what she did. A key line in the movie is when says "Do you really think that people are who they say they are".

It's probably too late to catch this in the theaters but don't miss it on Blu-Ray or cable.

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