07 April 2011

Movies: Salt

Salt (2010) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0944835/

An action/thriller/espionage film starring Angelina Jolie as Evelyn Salt, also starring Liev Shreiber as Winter, Salt's boss at the CIA,  and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Peabody, a CIA counterintelligence agent. You'll recognize the folks if you don't recognize the names.

Basic storyline: A Russian walks into a building that's a cover for CIA operations.  Salt and Winter are called in to do the interrogation. The Russian (Orlov) states there will be an assassination attempt on the Russian President while the Russian President attends the Vice President of the U.S.'s funeral. The attempt will be carried out by a Russian agent that's been embedded in the U.S. since the Cold War. And that agent is Evelyn Salt.  Immediately the CIA spirits off Orlov, Salt begs the CIA to put a protection team on her husband, Winter places Salt in an interrogation room, Orlov kills his guards and escapes, then Salt escapes during the mayhem to go protect her hubby.  Winter and Peabody give chase, Winter wanting to give her a chance to redeem herself against the charges, Peabody to lock her down just in case.

And we're in the middle of a modern Cold War espionage thriller action film.  Which is rather a rarity considering the Cold War has been over for a couple of decades now and most films of this type in this day and age would be pitting the U.S. against China or North Korea or radical jihadist Muslims from Somewhereistan.

Can't say a whole lot without revealing obvious and less-than-obvious plot points and twists. No complaints on any aspect production.  The film is pretty much what one would expect out of an espionage/thriller/action flick that doesn't go too over the top. The viewer is clued in as to how much suspension of disbelief is required and the film didn't violate that agreement.
There are actually three versions on the DVD - the theatrical version, the extended cut which is only a minute or so longer than the theatrical version, and the director's cut, which is about 4 minutes longer than the theatrical version.  There are some end-of-the-film differences between all three cuts, and some story and fleshing-out-character differences. I didn't watch them all, but the differences are documented and easily found via Google search. Not posting a link, because, you know, spoilers.

The film is an entertaining ride, good for popcorn movie night. Enough action and non-existent technology and perfect confluences of events. Not bad, not great, but good enough.

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