SALT. Cast: Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Daniel Olbrychski. Direcetd by Phillip Noyce. 100 minutes. Rated M (Action violence and coarse language).
Of course, The Salt Identity, The Salt Supremacy and The Salt Ultimatum.
We had thought that all the sleepers trained in Russia and infiltrated into ordinary and suburban US society in Cold War decades were more than middle-aged by now. But, it looks as though some of the Russian dissidents, not pleased with the collapse of the Soviet Union, and relying on their training talents of the past, have been keeping up-to-date with the program. But, the question is who is the spy and who is not and who has infiltrated the CIA.
There used to be a short British Film with Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan called The Running, Jumping & Standing Still Film. This is really the Salt Running, Jumping film (not much standing still) and Angelina Jolie spends most of the time doing just this with an agility that defies belief and a timing that keeps her alive more often that it really could or should.
When a Russian defector turns up in Washington and Evelyn Salt interviews him, he warns that there is to be an assassination attempt on the visit Russian president and the sleeper agent to be activated is called... Evelyn Salt. Is she or isn’t she? Agent Chiwitel Ejiofor believes she is, fellow department agent Liev Schreiber (who had overseen her release from a North Korean prison as the film opens) believes she isn’t. For quite a while, as Salt (running and jumping) evades and eludes her pursuers, it doesn’t seem to matter which side she is on as long as she keeps alive.
Then there is to be an attempt on the life of the US President (nothing done by halves in this movie). Will she do it? Will she unmask someone else? If that tantalises you, and you like Angelina Jolie being more energetic than Lara Croft, then you will suspend disbelief (and that is a mighty ask even when the pace is so fast) and just go with the flow, wherever it leads.
Directed by Australian Phillip Noyce who has directed some fine films like Newsfront, Rabbit Proof Fence and The Quiet American but who also showed Hollywood action flair with his Jack Ryan adventure films and The Bone Collector (also with Angelina Jolie). Popcorn action for adults – with a neo-Cold War subtext.
Fr Peter Malone MSC is an associate of the Australian Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting.
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Sony
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: August 19, 2010