Summer Film Series – Vol. 8, No. 4: SALT
August 5, 2010, at AMC Theatre, Firewheel Center, Garland TX
I’d been looking forward to seeing SALT for many, many months since first hearing about the project and Angelina Jolie’s involvement. But, as usual, my excitement for a film was not echoed by the critics, so I did have a slight moment of doubt about whether Salt would live up to my expectations. And as usual, I never should have doubted myself. How in the world could an action film with a spy element that featured Jolie in a part originally written for a man end up going wrong in any way? That she got to play at the same level as the boys, got to be the baddest of all the characters in the film, and bring back shades of Mrs. Smith pretty much guarantees that I’m going to love every minute of the film — or at least love all the moments in which Jolie is onscreen. But Hollywood knew how to counteract any non-Jolie moments by also casting Liev Schreiber (my longtime beloved Liev Schreiber) alongside Jolie and then giving him a role that allowed him to be his awesome self and fill up the screen with as much power as Jolie brought to her own role. Seeing the two of them play off each other — and not just for a few moments within the story — made me wish they could become the next Hepburn & Tracy, making film after film after film together. That’s how much I love their pairing! Jolie is always a favorite of mine, as I believe she is one of the top five greatest actresses of the current generation, but in Salt Schreiber was given the rare opportunity to play a male lead and to show the world just how incredible he is when given the chance. Plus, (and this is a total spoiler, so skip to the next paragraph if you don’t want to know any plot twists), he had a few scenes in a Russian dialect, which I know is very close to his heart and is something he enjoys doing for films. That alone was worth the price of a ticket!
I loved Salt. Adored it, actually, and probably will want to watch it again and again over the course of my lifetime. Just as I do Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Wanted. Just as I do Defiance and Ransom and The Manchurian Candidate. And even Gone in Sixty Seconds. Because I love Jolie and I love Schreiber and that’s enough to make Salt a keeper. But even if it wasn’t for the two of them, it’s still a pretty cool movie on its own. Who doesn’t dig a fun spy flick? I think what the critics disliked was that the film was little more than an extended episode of Alias. But my answer to that is, “What’s wrong with that?” Salt was all I wanted it to be and more. Which makes it a winner in my book.
image via Internet Movie Database