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Salt is the most preposterous movie I’ve ever seen – and yes, I have watched both Lara Croft films and several of Steven Seagal’s.

No mystery in the answer to the tagline: Angelina Jolie

The entire plot is based on a plausible way of getting Angelina Jolie into a Russian costume with fur trim. Plausible, in this case, being a bendy, stretchy, logical-only-in-the-action-spy-thriller-adventure-context sort of concept.

Basically – and at first glance you wouldn’t think the word could be applied to this film but don’t be fooled – some Russian dude approaches the CIA offering information in exchange for amnesty. When CIA Agent Evelyn Salt interviews him, he announces that she is one of an undisclosed number of deadly Russian ‘sleeper agents’ sent to bring down the American government.

Is Angelina a Russian agent? Or a double-agent or even a triple- or quadruple-agent? Does anyone really care after Ange removes her knickers in the second scene?

Cue ever increasing ridiculousness.

Unfortunately, it’s perfectly clear which side Ange is on if you not-so-carefully observe whom she annihilates with a smouldering pout, and whom she merely kneecaps and smacks about playfully.

Similarly, Ange’s best friend is played by Liev Schreiber, so we all know where THAT’S going. Oh, come ON, it’s hardly a spoiler! Here’s a little movie quiz:-

GOODIE OR BADDIE:

Christopher Lee
Tom Cruise
Will Smith
Jason Isaacs
Alan Rickman
Arnold Schwarzeneger
Liev Schreiber-

EXACTLY. Liev Schreiber’s one of those actors who, as soon as he walks into frame, completely kills dramatic tension. Because you just KNOW.

The movie opens with Ange being tortured in North Korea, although thankfully she’s wearing matching underwear. She rolls around the floor wailing in her matching underwear, but later we’re expected to believe the same woman goes all ninja turtle on CIA and ex-KGB ass when she can’t garotte a couple of scrawny North Koreans with her bra? 

My credulity never fully recovered from that leap. I mean, I could understand if she didn’t want to be left with a pair of unmatched knickers, but that plot point was never clarified.

Then we’re introduced to the husband, an arachnologist, who was instrumental in getting her sprung. He’s obviously besotted with Ange because he gazes at her lovingly even though she has a fat eyelid.

In a cosy domestic scene, it is implied that Ange is smitten with him too, because she doesn’t mind him putting spiders on the breakfast table. I mean, isn’t that every guy’s dream? She also peeps coyly at him from behind a door, which is completely out of character and pure embarrassing. Her devotion would have been better established by treating him to hot, spider sex across the table.

I struggled to see the attraction. I mean, in one of a series of flashbacks that serves little purpose, he chats up Ange with the line, “I hunt spiders”. I don’t know about you, but that one never did it for me. But also, August Diehl is no Brad Pitt:

That said, he looks much nicer and probably doesn’t wear mirrored shades to check out his own reflection. 

Anyway. Ange goes on the run from the CIA to save her dog and prove her innocence while pretending to assassinate the Russian vice-president and trying to find her husband in her spare time.

When she builds a rocket launcher out of a table leg, bottle of bleach and a fire extinguisher, Ange breaks a nail and spends a couple of seconds flicking her hand around going, “Damn, I broke a nail.” And she spends less time constructing her weapon than pouting at the door in case some cute guy she wants to have hot spider sex with forces his way in.

At least she wouldn’t have had to take off her knickers, because she applied them to cover a security camera earlier. Which neatly ties up one loose end.

Then Ange returns to her apartment and has to crawl out the window in her pencil skirt when the CIA bursts in. There’s a wonderful shot from above of Angie clinging to some grouting five stories off the ground. After a lot of grunting and evading of an up-the-skirt shot, she makes it to street level, where she’s spotted STROLLING ALONG THE SIDEWALK by the guys she’s trying to evade . I mean, don’t you think she’d have concealed herself in a dumpster for five minutes? JEEZ.

There follows a high voltage chase sequence. Before filming, Ange should have watched The Bourne Trilogy, which would have taught her that, when you momentarily shake your pursuers, NEVER RUN to evade capture. Walk casually yet briskly, admiring the birds and occasionally referring to a map while tying your shoelaces if absolutely necessary. It also helps if you’re not wearing a light suit that’s marinated in blood. Also, if you don’t run like a girl.

At one point, Ange takes a course in The Superman School of Disguise by wearing a hat, contact lenses and a pair of false teeth. But even that was preferable to disguising herself as a man, which was frankly deeply disturbing.

Another time, she kills some actor eating into her screen time with a modified yoga-stretch, which was cool. But nothing could redeem Ange after she entrusts her pet to a neighbour’s kid to look after; yet has no qualms about abandoning the dog before the credits roll. Ultimately, I don’t care if she was a goodie or baddie: what a bitch.

Someone – and I’m not mentioning names – but I’m LOOKING AT YOU MarkJ, yeah YOU, that’s the prickle you feel at the back of your neck, although you also need to turn down the gas heater – raised the question whether Jennifer Aniston would be able to ‘pull off’ this role.

The answer is no.

However, I’d like to see Angelina ‘pull off’ a role where she’s required to show any motivation other than looking hot, nasty, and about three days overdue a bath.

2/5

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Comments on: "Insert condiment pun here" (12)

  1. Challenge accepted, Ms Jelly

    Angelina Jolie — is both a forceful testament to the perseverance of a single mother (Jolie’s character, Christine Collins) and a damning indictment of unfettered patriarchal power in the late 1920s.

    Changeling 2008 – Directed by Clint Eastwood.

    8/10 IMDB,
    62% Rotten Tomatoes
    3.5 stars out of 4 Roger Ebert

    Given neither of us know Aniston or Jolie, perhaps we should give them both the benefit of the doubt, and recognize that both work in a superficial and fickle industry that often caters to the lowest common denominator. Let’s not stoop to their level and instead agree to disagree.

    Love MarkJ x

  2. deadlyjelly said:

    Well FIRST OF ALL let’s leave the maths out of this.

    Secondly: these people set themselves up to be talked about and win/lose loyalties. They chose a superficial and fickle industry. So it’s open season and you’re just jealous I have a bigger gun than you.

    They’re not real people anyway.

    x

  3. I guess you’re right. Until Angelina makes a movie where her best male friend ejaculates into a cup intended to impregnate her, because he accidentally destroys the original sample, I’ll try and be a little more balanced in my opinions.

    🙂 x

  4. I’ve only seen the trailers… but it struck me, from them, that it’s nice to see the Russians are making a comeback as villains. Evidently the whole “Chinese evil empire” theme never quite caught on in the same way.

    Thank you, DJ, for sacrificing three hours of your life so that we don’t have to.

  5. Cian said:

    What! You went to see two “Lara Croft” movies (I would say both, but there may be more than 2 of them -does anybody know/care?). Listen, I was not stupid enough to see the second one. How could you? What am I saying, I wasn’t stupid enough to see the first one.

    Actually that sounds like I’m insulting you, which of course is not the intent. I’m going to assume that you were dragged along or conducting research. After all i hear that invitations may be rescinded.

    Thanks for the review of Salt. I also have to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your sacrifice.

    Oh and regarding the Steven Seagal films, how’s the therapy coming along?

  6. deadlyjelly said:

    MarkJ – FINE, I’ll bite. I have never seen a movie that fits the description you gave, but I’ll take a wild guess that Jennifer Aniston starred in it. I’m not surprised you’re a fan of something that sounds so relentlessly AWFUL. If you want balanced opinions though, you’re on your own.

    Vet – I know, I’m all nostalgic for the days it was ok to kill celluloid Ruskies. Although IMO the ultimate villains are always going to be Nazis. And you’re welcome.

    Cian – Husband made me watch Lara Croft. Apparently Jolie upped a cup size to play the character, although she still fell a D short of the game’s heroine who is DD. Just so you know.

    No need for therapy. In fact, I am grateful to Steven Seagal for vastly improving my sense of humour. I owe it all to him. Well, some if it anyway. Whatever ‘it’ is.

    x

  7. Jens latest flick – the Switch. Though I must say she had no idea Jason Bateman did that!

    Just out of interest what was your least hated Seagal film? – mine’s “Executive Decision”. Mostly because he was killed within the first 10 minutes due to a pay dispute with the producers 🙂

  8. deadlyjelly said:

    MarkJ, re your question, it’s not that I’m giving you the brush-off; it’s just that I can’t remember any of Seagal’s films. Except that he does a lot of ju-jitsu and occasionally, regrettably, speaks. I think it’s selective amnesia for my own psychological protection. I’ll just go with your fave.

    x

  9. Cian said:

    “selective amnesia for my own psychological protection” – that’ll be the hypnotherapy sessions – obviously it is working so well you forgot you had them.

    I just looked him up on IMBD. Either they have deleted most of his films or I’m having major memory loss but I think that I have only seen 1 of them – maybe 2 at most. Yay!

  10. deadlyjelly said:

    OR MAYBE you’re suffering from selective amnesia too.

    x

  11. solartap said:

    Seagal was good in his first film “Nico” and one in which he played a ninja-chef.

    As regards the Aniston Jolie thing, if they were in a room together and forced to fight to the death, we all know Jolie would kick the crap out of Aniston.

  12. deadlyjelly said:

    Yes but if WE were in a room together and forced to fight to the death, we all know I would kick the crap out of you. But that doesn’t make me a better person, just hotter in leathers.

    x

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