Sunday, August 15, 2010

Guest Writer Review: Salt

In case you were confused.

This action-thriller starring Angelina Jolie as Evelyn Salt has its ups and downs . . . but mostly downs. Salt works for the CIA, but after confronting a Russian defector she is accused of being a Russian spy who will soon assassinate the Russian President. Salt runs for her life, convincing her teammates and the CIA that she has become a threat to the United States. Her escape rapidly degenerates from flight into a battle between Russia and the United States. An all out war, if you will, started and continued by, you guessed it, Angelina Jol- I mean, Evelyn Salt.

Whether you are an American or if you are Russian, you will view the opposing country differently. I, as an American, got the message “damn the Russians.” I sort of imagine Russians would view it as “man, those Americans are stupid.” The events that take place in Russia are stereotypically evil, as well as Russia's plan to, what else, rule the world. But of course, the way the United States government handled the situation of recovering Salt and keeping her detained was worse than giving a little girl a gun. The action scenes were, like all movies with Angelina Jolie, ridiculously overblown, but definitely entertaining. Despite the entertainment value of the movie, it was poorly put together and it's depiction of the US and Russia is simply preposterous.

Speaking of preposterous, let's talk about the laws of physics. This movie, although certainly not entirely true-to-life, did at least attempt to base itself on real events, and overall did a fair job, but there were a large amount of mistakes or things left out that could have been beneficial. In my opinion, Salt should have been dead at least 5 times. Being surrounded by 20 CIA agents with guns drawn, she jumps off a highway bridge and lands on a semi. You know what the result is if that happened in real life? Death. Or how about escaping out of custody in a Yukon (the SUV, not the frozen wasteland) with 4 armed police officers while being handcuffed? Oh, she can do more than that. Like, just for example, jump out of a helicopter into a river from heights that would make James Bond hesitate. While watching this movie with friends, one of them (who would like to remain unknown in order to save what is left of his/her dignity) remarked, “How can she manage to stand on a 2 inch ledge when I can hardly stand up while going to the bathroom?” After a while you realize that Salt is dominating the CIA at lengths that are beyond impossible. Sure, the action is wicked but the lack of anything approaching realism takes some of the entertainment away.

Overall, Salt had a good pace and a good plot. However, it failed at keeping it realistic, which was clearly their goal. Angelina Jolie kicked butt, literally (no, actually, there is foot to bottom action), as usual. And unfortunately “damn the Russians” is still stuck in my head.

Official YAMB Grade: Neutral

Guest Writer: Mark Bykerk

Please take note: This is a Guest Writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of the YAMB B* Team/ Blog Team/ Writing Staff. Thank you.

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