|image credit: NYT|
The plot has holes.
There are plenty of scenes where physics and reality just do not hold. But, it's Angelina Jolie, so we can forgive it.
Jolie extracts venom from spiders. She makes a MacGyver-style rocket launcher out of plastic table legs and cleaning supplies. She can expertly dye her hair jet black. She steals convenient items for concealment almost by wishing it. A hat. Cool jackets. She looks pretty good on the ferry as a Russian tourist. She has the ability to stow a dog in a backpack and deliver it unharmed (after rock climbing on a building) to an unsuspecting little girl. She can walk away from a car wreck without being noticed. She can jump from a semi onto a rental van. She can even jump and roll from a speeding subway car effortlessly. What is it about movies that presuppose New York City subway shafts can lead to any desirable place in the city? I mean I know the famous Waldorf-Astoria tunnel shaft exists, but come on!
Suspension of Disbelief is Needed
Even so, the fantastic stunts do not take us away from the suspense of the film. Filmgoers are used to putting aside basic laws of physics in order to get at the heart of a film. The film allies us with its main protagonist, and even though we are not quite sure what side she is on, we somehow seem to trust her that she'll be the good guy in the end.
Russians and Nazis are perennial bad guys in movies, so I did feel uncomfortable for yet another evil Russian plot to destroy America. I thought we were beyond the Cold War. But, I realized the film is rather pseudo-political. The plot claims to make no huge comments about current political affairs, even though the timeline of events is somewhere in the near future. The end picks up the pieces nicely. And if you're wondering, Russian moles are never black or gay. I'm not giving anything away but the partnering of Chiwetel Ejiofor and Liev Schrieber make the film even more fun.
The movie ends with the possibility of Salt II. Ugh. Another franchise. Just when we thought Mission Impossible had ended its tenure, Salt comes to take its place. So get ready for some more Americans beat Russian butt in the future. I cared enough about Salt to watch it from beginning to end with rapt attention, but I am not so sure I am ready for a trilogy.
Director: Phillip Noyce
Writer: Kurt Wimmer