I don’t have much to say about Salt, especially since the movie lasts about as long as it’ll take you to read this.

So here are a few quick notes I made:

  • What a cute little action movie. Dumb as a bag of hammers. But refreshing in its lack of (apparent) CGI and its embrace of old-fashioned chase sequences.
  • The coincidences are breathtakingly preposterous, and the cliches (including the red-letter readouts and bedroom-voice alarm-system warnings) are surprisingly abundant. But it’s so fast and efficient, 100 minutes feel like 60.
  • It’s nice to have Phillip Noyce behind the wheel of an action flick again. (I have fond memories of Patriot Games.)
  • You gotta love that a woman who may or may not be a Russian spy goes on the run, at one point, in a Russian fox-fur hat and stole in broad daylight.
  • I wonder if Roger Ebert is realizing that percentage-point download/upload readouts are becoming as common, or more so, than the good ol’ red-letter-digital bomb-countdowns as suspense devices.
  • Sequel? Sure, but why not make this the pilot to a TV series? It seems more suited to the small screen. Its ambitions are certainly small enough, and I could feel my metabolism slowing down the way it does when I watch amusing action TV.
  • This movie is a perfect in-flight movie. It’s short enough, diverting enough, it won’t offend the person sitting next to you.
  • This is the kind of movie where a grizzled, high-ranking Russian agent, while being interrogated by the FBI, starts to explain himself with a story by saying, “1975. [pause] The Cold War.” You know, for kids.
  • I’m tired of seeing Chiwetel Ejiofor in these roles. I want him to be the lead in something again. Dirty Pretty Things was eight freaking years ago, and he’s still getting these parts? Come on. Frigging Redbelt, people!
  • Steven Greydanus wrote in his review:

    I would say she’s Hollywood’s only female star capable of persuasively knocking around a half dozen armed male agents, except that Scarlett Johansson also pulled it off in Iron Man 2

    I can’t think of many Hollywood stars who could make us wonder if her character might be a Russian agent. But I can think of plenty who could persuasively knock around a half dozen armed male agents. Halle Berry? Michelle Rodriguez? Hilary Swank? Milla Jovovich? Jennifer Garner? They may not be the box office draw that Jolie is, but I can see any of them pulling this off – especially Garner since she did it so convincingly in Alias. (Actually, I wish this *had* been Garner. I miss Sidney Bristow.)

  • It’s remarkable how incredibly restrained the film is when it comes to Jolie’s sex appeal. Unless I missed it, the closest they came to making it a factor was in the finale, for a few moments, through a window. And even there, it was little more than the voice and the eyes.

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