Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) is just your ordinary, run-of-the-mill CIA agent until a supposed Russian defector (Daniel Olbrychski) lets slip that she is a Russian spy during an interrogation. Salt is forced to go on the run, carrying out a series of increasingly dangerous actions that occasionally make sense. While being pursued by both her former colleagues and a sleeper cell of Russian terrorists, she keeps everyone (including the audience) asking the same question: just what side is Evelyn Salt on?
It's possible that "Salt" may have the widest range of reviews of any movie from 2010. Comments from writers I greatly respect would have had me believing that this was either one of the better action movies of the year or one of the more convoluted, pointless films of the year. I'm afraid I come closer to the latter camp than the former. Clearly the point of the movie is to keep the audience guessing so that the final twist is especially earth shattering. Unfortunately, I had completely lost interest in the movie's plot by the time we get to the final reveal or whether or not Salt is a hero or a villain. I'm all for a film that challenges me to follow along (see: "Inception") but I have a tendency to shut down when I feel like a movie is screwing with my mind just for the heck of it. Maybe that's an indictment of me as much as it is "Salt" but regardless, the various twists and turns just left me feeling cold and uncaring as to what would happen. In addition, the action sequences are quite outlandish and while that might work for a Jerry Bruckheimer production, it doesn't seem to fit here. Moreover, I just don't buy Jolie as an action star. I've tried, I really have, but she just doesn't work for me in these types of roles. Add that all together with an under-utilization of one great character actor (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and the typecasting of another (Liev Schreiber) and the result is thoroughly unimpressive.