Tuesday, August 24, 2010


How do.  FoldsFive here.  We have the luxury of a guest poster in the form of the lovely (and future best man of mine) Tom White... Bring it on, Druid :)

That's what the poster asks, printed over a image so large of Angelina Jolie's face that it doesn't fit on the page. It's her, isn't it? Obvious. Just checking the IMDB page - yep, Evelyn Salt played by Angelina Jolie. That's that sorted.

Silly question really.

It's films like Tomb Raider and its almost-as-terrible sequel which put me off Angelina Jolie. I wish those films were Gone In 60 Seconds, but unfortunately they weren't. Sadly neither was Gone In 60 Seconds. Tomb Raider was the first film I saw where I spent most of the time checking my watch to see how much more I had to endure.

Salt is a love story which has you guessing where the characters' loves and loyalties actually lie. On the surface it's a good plot with lots of running and fighting and explosions in between. If it sounds like a lot of other films of its type, that's because it is; not to say it's a bad film, it's enjoyable all the way through, the characters are just missing something that you get in films like Bourne. What's difficult is putting your finger on what makes it less engaging. In Salt, characters are introduced and killed inside ten minutes and cursory flashbacks try to portray the years of bonding between the characters but fail. Another thing which springs to mind is that in films like Bourne and Wanted you’re learning the background at the same pace as the lead character, whereas in Salt, she knows all and says nothing. It’s a bit like a man coming up to you in the pub and introducing himself by telling you he knows something you don’t. Then he won’t tell you what it is.

“Hi, I’m Geoff. I know something you don’t.” 
 “Hi Geoff, what is it you’ve got to tell me?” 
 “Er, I don’t know. What is it?” 
 “Guess!” “No, seriously Geoff, tell me.”
 “If you say ‘guess’ one more time, I swear I’m going to lamp you. Is that what you want?”

Well fuck you, Geoff, because we all find out the truth about Salt in the end without having suffering a short mythical conversation with you. You don’t even exist. Go away Geoff.

All this said, I feel I'm doing Salt a disservice. Some details need to be clouded for a story like this but it takes away any possible affinity you could have with the characters. From the start you want to identify with Evelyn Salt but you can't. This is still, however, an enjoyable film to watch, at least on the big screen. It's certainly no clockwatcher and is better than a lot of other films of its genre.

With its clever plot and good acting however, Salt should have be a better film. Perhaps things would be different had there been forty five minutes more exposition, even though the lack of detail is essential for the most part of the film. There are ways of drip-feeding clues about a character's background without spoiling the plot or patronising the viewer. Roll on the DVD director's cut.


  1. The `something` may have something to do with film having to shoe horn a female lead into the movie after it was written with a male lead instead (believe it was a cruise movie before it became a jolie one)

  2. I was hoping it would be a spin-off from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

    Thanks for the guest-spot, Tom :) Great review.


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