Sunday, January 9, 2011

"Salt" is Action-Packed, Entertaining

Nobody will accuse Angelina Jolie of being in excellent films as of late. She is certainly famous, or infamous, for her philanthropy, marriage and family, and certain attributes. Her acting has been proven, certainly by her Academy Award winning role in "Girl, Interrupted", and then a turn in the action saga "Lara Croft: Tombraider". This latest film is not spectacular by any means, but it's entertaining.

Jolie plays the titular character Evelyn Salt, an agent for the Central Intelligence Agency. When they capture a Russian defector, she is brought in to interrogate him. But she is given some startling news in the process. She is accused of being a Russian spy, a sleeper spy. In any event, she could be re-activated, and her elaborate "cover" life left behind. So begins a raucous action packed film. Salt goes on the run, proclaiming her innocence. There are certainly the usual plot twists along the way. Friends become enemies. The good guy turns out to be the villian, and so on. This certainly wasn't an original story, but it was entertaining nonetheless.

You know, just by watching any of Jolie's films, that she puts herself whole-heartedly into a role. She's a very intense actress. Her facial expressions alone are that of an actress who commits to a role with everything she has. When one watches an action sequence in the film, one would believe that she is really causing a car to crash, not just on a stage in front of a green screen. This same intensity can often back fire though. Sometimes you will see an actor or actress, one that is perhaps less seasoned that Jolie, put themselves into a role with every fiber of their being. But often that intensity is unwarrented. Nobody should have a look on their face of wanting to rip apart the next person who walks through the door if they're merely cooking a meal. While Jolie, at times, can be guilty of a mis-placed aggression, she is understandably intense in this one.

Another actor in the film that I enjoyed was Liev Schreiber, who begins the film playing Jolie's fellow agent, Ted Winter. He has a very commanding prescence, but at the same time, he can be funny without trying. As you're watching the film, you'd almost be like, "Wait...was that a JOKE??" His delivery is deadpan and dry. Aside from the sprinkling of comedy that seems ubiquitous in every action film, his skills as an actor in an action film are very good as well.

Never let it be said that this film will go down in history with some of the action genre's greatest films like the "Indiana Jones" films. It won't. But it was entertaining enough. It didn't recycle old stale story lines typical of several action films. The acting wasn't great, but we didn't expect it to be. This was a good, entertaining action film.

No comments:

Post a Comment