James Helsby

LRE #28: Salt

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Little Red Envelope

In my mailbox this week:

Release Year: 2010
Staring: Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Daniel Olbrychski

When a CIA agent is accused of being a super-duper-secret mole for the Russians, instead of dealing with it and trying to clear her name, she goes on an outlandish flight proving her guilt.

I am not going to beat around the bush. This movie was bad. It was far fetched, poorly acted and very very static. Some things put in where so outlandish that I shudder to think of the appropriate punishment that should befall the screenwriter.


Salt is a story about Evelyn Salt an agent for the CIA who works in what I suppose would be best described as a covert-field position. While never really explained in the movie, their field office is set inside of a Petroleum corporation, ‘Rink Petroleum.’ And while this cover might seem a great way to hide a field office, apparently it is pointless.

Soon after the movie starts, we are introduced to Salt’s husband Mike Krause, a arachnologist who rescued Salt from a North Korean prison. If you were to ask me about how an arachnologist has political pull in North Korean, you will get a resounding ‘donknow’ from me. Back to the story.

Salt is pulled in to interview a Russian defector who spins a tale of the KA12 program, which specializes in producing extremely-deep cover moles. And that this particular mole is going to kill the Russian president while he is in the US for the funeral of the US Vice President. This mole’s name is Evelyn Salt.

Look, I haz cannon made from red thingie

Well, you can start to guess where it goes from here. Oh wait, no you can’t. BECAUSE IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. Instead of trying to prover her innocence, she takes of in a rampant rage of destruction, with the one single goal of finding her husband. She goes to her apartment, and saves her dog from a flash-bang. Gives her dog to a neighbor kid, jumps onto a bus, runs away further, runs to New York, (spoilers, skip to the next paragraph………) Kills the Russian president, watches her husband die while not doing anything, runs more, kills just about everyone else, because she really is a mole, then kills her mole-teacher, because he killed her husband, and she is upset about it.

What? Really? That’s just stupid. And that’s the problem with this movie. Pieces are strung together, but no one seems to give a thought about the real purpose. I will site 3 specific moments which almost made me stop the movie. First, the US president is whisked away to a top-secret nuclear bunker underneath the White House (this is fine) but as the door is closing, the ONE guard who is protecting the entrance to the bunker, turns away from the extremely long hallway leading up to the door, allowing Salt to slip in. dumdumdumdumdum.

Second, When the vault has been sealed, and there is a need for more military troops and CIA agents to get into the SEALED NUK-ULAR vault, they cut the door with a blow torch. Yes, I said Nukular. Because a Nuclear bunker would probably be able to hold up to a blow torch for a few, oh, I don’t know… years. Hell, it can stand a nuclear blast.

Finally, and this one bugged me the most. The President is sealed inside his protected and bulletproof final enclosure. Bullets ricochet off the glass. But guess what? The concrete  disintegrates under gun fire, providing unfettered access to the door controls on the inside of the hatch. Either someone needs to fire the writer (probably) or someone needs to fire the guy who designed the nukular bunker.

I would rather watch this.

Maybe I didn’t get it. Maybe this movie was supposed to be stupid dumb fun, and I thought it was more than that. Honestly, I don’t think that is the case. I just can’t see Angelina Jolie being cast in a ‘big dumb fun’ movie, like Mr. & Mrs. Smith ever again. Yes, I do remember her history, but I just don’t see it happening again.

The only thing this movie had going for it was Liev Schreiber, who I think is a phenomenal actor. He does a great job in this film, much better than Jolie in my opinion. Schrieber plays the role of Ted Winter, Salt’s CIA supervisor and mentor. The dude can act, even when no one else can.

Final review time. Skip this movie. Skip it and burn it. I wouldn’t even watch it again if it was captured on my Tivo. I really disliked it that much. But, I have been told that my views are my own, and that others (Jermaine) don’t agree with me.

How painful was it:  Bad. Real Bad. Don’t bother.

Rating: 2/10. I would rather watch paint dry than watch it again.

The Wife’s Retort: It was horribly bad. Bad enough that I had to watch an episode of Worst Chef’s in America to make up for it.

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