I’m fairly certain Salt is not a fictional drama, but instead an insider documentary on the secret life of Angelina Jolie.
Just look at those eyes of hers. You can just tell she’s up to crazy things in the dark of night. So it stands to reason that she’s a triple agent superspy capable of assassinating multiple heads of state within a 24-hour period, start and end a nuclear war before it begins, murder hundreds of gun-toting cronies with hand-to-hand death grip kills and dye her hair black just because.
And what a perfect cover it is to make a movie about this secret life. Now if anyone were to accuse her of being superspy Evelyn Salt, people will just laugh it off as mistaking movies for reality. That is, unless you’re as smart as me, and know that everything you see in movies — especially spy movies — is exactly true.
The movie does solve one other mystery about Jolie’s life, which is why it is she adopts approximately 700 kids per day. The reason, my friends, is guilt. See, on a daily basis she offs at least 388.888 mindless goons who foolishly stand in her way, so being that the goons are family goons who have an average of 1.8 goonchildren each, Jolie takes it upon herself to raise the innocent youngsters. Which seems nice and all, but is actually obscenely cruel, given that if Angelina Jolie is your mother you can’t think of her in, you know, that way.
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It’s a small condolence for the kids that they’re likely given free passes to their mom’s movies. They’re in luck with Salt, which is as exciting and wonderfully ludicrous a spy thriller as I’ve seen in a while. It’s basically the Bourne movies without all the calmness and stark attention to reality.
Remember the scene in one The Bourne Identity in which Bourne races around in a Mini Cooper and wrecks a city? Yeah, Salt doesn’t need a Mini Cooper to do that. Girlfriend is intense. She’s an unstoppable hurricane of fists, feet and bullets. Let me cite an example of just what a badass she is. Early in the movie, a Russian dude tells the CIA that Salt is going to kill the Russian president when he comes to the U.S. The CIA, Secret Service and basically every ninja warrior fed in the country bands together to prevent this from happening, but guess what? In comes Salt, hair dyed black because Salt with black hair looks nothing like Salt with brown hair, and, well (spoiler alert) they don’t make movies about superspy assassins who can’t make their targets fall through giant holes in churches she makes with improvised explosives.
From there it just gets crazier. Salt meets up with an ex Soviet spy guru who trained her to become a sleeper agent by, no joke, making her watch Brady Bunch and kiss his ring. He has even crazier plans for her, but Salt has her own plans, one of which involves dressing up like a dude who’s about as convincing as Amanda Bynes in What a Girl Wants. Why? Because nothing in this bat-doodie crazy movie makes a lick of sense. But don’t blame the writers, blame Jolie, live-er of what Ricky Martin once referred to as “La Vida Loca.”
Starring Angelina Jolie, Live Schreiber and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Written by Kurt Wimmer. Directed by Phillip Noyce. Rated PG-13. 100 minutes.
Phil Villarreal’s humorous money-saving book, Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel, is available on Amazon.