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Salt: Deluxe Unrated Edition
BLU-RAY disk
12.30.2010 By: J.A. Hamilton
Salt:  Deluxe Unrated Edition order download
Phillip Noyce

Angelina Jolie
Liev Schreiber
Andre Braugher


star Printer-Friendly version
Evelyn Salt is one of the CIAís top operatives, especially when it comes to shaking people down in the interrogation room but all that comes crashing down around her when a Russian defector accuses her of being a double agent here to assassinate the President. Pleading her innocence, Salt races to avoid capture and find her husband in hopes of clearing her name.
Just when you think spy movies canít go any further something like SALT falls into our laps. Now itís my firm belief that THE BOURNE IDENTITY (arguably one of the best spy films ever made) helped speed up the judo chop to the nuts given to the James Bond franchise at a time when it was truly needed. Daniel Craig continues to push this genre forward as I donít doubt Tom Cruise will with the next MI film but new blood is always welcome. Angelina Jolie can rock the action train and holds her own here as Evelyn Salt (not to shabby considering the part was originally written for a man). Does SALT raise the bar? No, not really but itís a fun action flick nonetheless.

What helps this film right off the bat is the cast. After watching WANTED, it was clear to me that Angelina Jolie still had what it takes to carry an action film. I enjoyed her exploits as Lara Croft as much as the next guy but Fox and Salt were both far better character performances because theyíre unknown rather than Angelina wrestling with peopleís expectations of Lara Croft. Liev Schreiber has also come a long way since his days as Cotton Weary. Despite what most people thought, I loved him as Sabertooth and find that he plays as great a villain as he does hero (loved him in PHANTOMS yo).

Where this film lost me was the storyline, but I wonít give anything away here that the trailer doesnít already imply. I dug the trailerís hook with the old dude theyíre interrogating pointing her out as the Russian double operative whose going to assassinate the President but what I didnít care for was how they try to back it up. I know the Russians were pretty pissed about the Cold War and all but to imply that they can and did do the things shown in this film puts just about every season of 24 to shame from a scheming government cover-up standpoint. Iím not saying I have a hell of a lot of faith in our government but I certainly hope they function with a touch more clairvoyance and common sense than they do here.

SALT will not redefine the spy genre, explore new territory or push the envelope anywhere itís not already been but the pace is sharp, the action is sweet and the story (though farfetched) is still pretty entertaining. My only other complaint comes down to Saltís husband, a character whose made out to be someone of vast importance and significance from start to finish but ends up going nowhere. Thereís more to it than that of course, but youíll see what I mean and no doubt scratch your head as I did feeling that his journey ends on a weak note. The two extended cuts only really add to the ending which reminded me of an episode of THE OUTER LIMITS with Ryan Phillipe, again, cool idea in theory but rather difficult to back up in reality.
Commentary: Director Phillip Noyce explains that one of the main reasons for his interest in SALT was because his father served in World War II, making him a little more savvy to how things worked back then.

Spy Cam: Pitcher in Picture Track: Here we can watch the entire film with a smaller picture in the bottom right hand corner where the cast and crew discuss the film as you go.

The Ultimate Female Action Hero: Here we get the director, the producer and the rest of the cast bowing down to worship the raw talent Angelina Jolie brings to the table with each film she does. I think itís damn cool that she does all her own stunts.

The Real Agents: Here weíre given intel and insight into the real world of espionage from real agents who have worked in the field. Itís amazing how much we civilians donít know about our governments.

Spy Disguise: The Look of Evelyn Salt: Here they discuss the subtle and not so subtle changes Angeliaís character undergoes throughout the film. One thingís for certain, Angie made one hell of an ugly dude.

The Modern Master of the Political Thriller: Phillip Noyce: Director Phillip Noyce explains that the key to a great political thriller is playing on peopleís fears and turning them into an edge of your seat story. He had me with the spiders, I hate spiders.

False Identity: Creating a New Reality: The effects team explain that the best effects are the ones you donít even know are there, making them look and feel real. This film wasnít effects heavy to begin with so I didnít see that as a problem.

Salt: Declassified: Director Phillip Noyce explains how the script and the characters intrigued him and made him need to direct this movie. Itís always better when the director loves the material.

ďThe TreatmentĒ Radio Interview with Phillip Noyce: Radio host Elvis Mitchell shares his half hour broadcast radio show where he and director Phillip Noyce talk movies and SALT.

Previews: There are some trailers as well as an unrated directorís cut and extended cut of the film. Both unrated cuts tack on another handful of minutes but the real changes are in the ending which as I mentioned in the review are cool but a little farfetched.
Watching the trailer for SALT either got your adrenaline pumping or it didnít. Personally I dug the taste of this Kool-Aid and went in for my fix of female Bourne-type action and thatís exactly what I got. Yes, the storyís farfetched but most are these days because thatís what it takes to get our attention but if you can flick off your common sense switch for a couple hours youíll be fine.
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