by Tony Medley
Run time 100 minutes.
Not for children.
Tom Cruise was originally sought for the role of
Evelyn Salt played by Angelina Jolie (well, if Tom had been cast maybe
the first name might have been different; who knows?). Even with Jolie
in the role, Director Phillip Noyce shows he knows how to keep the pace
moving without a pause.
Salt works for the CIA when a defector comes
into the interrogation room and says thereís a sleeper agent who is in
the country to assassinate the Russian President. Salt is instructed by
her boss, Ted Winter (Liev Schreiber), to interrogate him. At the end of
the interrogation, he identifies the sleeper as none other than Evelyn
Evelyn bolts and this starts a movie-long chase
with the entire USA out to get her as she eludes them time and again.
The action is non-stop. But even with Cruise in the title role, it
couldnít have been more preposterous than this. The stunts performed by
Jolie and her doubles are even more ridiculous than most stunts, like
jumping from the top of one speeding truck to the top of another
speeding truck with nary a scratch or slip. Whatís even more ludicrous
than the stunts is the way Evelyn conquers all the men who confront her.
Presumably all these guys are just as expertly trained in hand-to-hand
combat as Evelyn, but thereís never anybody who is a match for her. And
she takes on several at a time.
Oh, well. Silly as it is, itís effectively made
and highly entertaining. I donít think there was a second when I didnít
thoroughly enjoy this. In short, this is a meaningless, forgettable
movie that you wonít remember for any appreciable period of time. There
are no memorable performances. Nobody needs worry about Academy Awards
(unless itís for the score by James Newton Howard, or the editing by
Robert Elswit, which really enhance the action). But itís very