Monday, March 28, 2011


Regular readers of the blog (if they’re out there) know that I’m not a fan of action movies. So, as you may imagine, I was just thrilled to sit down and watch Salt, yet another action movie about a rogue agent. But, despite its many problems (and many there were), Salt was still better than Knight and Day. So, there’s that.

Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) is a CIA agent, specializing in Russian matters. A Russian defector shows up and, during Salt's interrogation of him, accuses her of being a Russian spy with the intention to murder the visiting Russian president. Rather than submit to questioning and prove herself innocent, Salt immediately runs, causing her (now former) coworkers to make chase. Salt, though eager to escape from the assailants, finds herself incredibly concerned for her husband’s safety—this concern only increases when she is unable to contact him. The entire movie consists of the chase with a few "I hope my husband's okay" moments.

Even though I didn’t care for the movie’s action, there was one plot point that intrigued me. The defector who labeled Salt a spy explained that there exists a Russian group that raises children with the intention of sending them to live in America as spies. These children were taught the English language and American ways before they were taught Russian, and were eventually shipped off to America with given identity and mission. If the movie centered more on this process, spending time with the children raised as spies and dealing with how they felt about the role they were forced to play, I would have been more invested. Though the mystery of whether or not Salt was a member of this group made the movie more exciting, I would have liked to see the group highlighted in a different way.

My main problem with Salt, though, was its lack of substance. The movie jumped from one chase scene to another, spending little time advancing plot or explaining why characters were taking the actions they did. Maybe that’s what the action movie audience wants, but I wish motivations for the action (other than “get away”) had been clearer. I would have cared more.

Salt gets a 1/5. Though parts of its premise were thought-provoking, the majority of the movie was a mindless chase. I don’t need to watch that.

I'm sorry that there was no new post last week (and that the writing on this post is lackluster and borderline-bad). I'm in the last 3 weeks of my first year of grad school (woo-hoo!) and have been bogged down with papers, projects, and readings. Soon, though, The Daily Shill will jump into summer mode, which means that there'll be more reviews of books and often posts more than once weekly.

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