CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.
Film Review: ‘Salt’ With Angelina Jolie Suffers From Lack of Flavor
CHICAGO – Perhaps the creators of “Salt” took the potential double meaning of its title a bit too seriously because the film has been overloaded with one flavor at the expense of the variety that could have turned this well-done action movie into something a bit more memorable. Angelina Jolie is great and the film is undeniably expertly made but it’s also shockingly lacking in personality or moments to make it register as more than just an extended chase scene.
“Salt” is admittedly refreshing in its economy. In a season when so many films fall victim to the bloat that expands action films past the two-hour mark, it’s rare to see an efficient, tightly-edited, expertly-paced thriller like “Salt.” The film very rarely lets up on the gas pedal and there’s something to be said for its technical accomplishments alone.
|Read Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Salt” in our reviews section.|
On the other hand, “Salt” plays almost like a mid-season episode of “24” in that it has a similar, franchise-starting non-ending and doesn’t have the necessary dramatic weight to allow the audience to really give a damn about anything that’s happening on the big screen. Most of what happens is completely illogical and there’s simply not enough personality here to elevate the action into something more powerful like we’ve seen in films like “The Bourne Ultimatum” or “Casino Royale.” “Salt” is nowhere near the accomplishment of those super-spy ancestors and it’s disappointing because it’s hard to shake the feeling that it could have been.
We’re introduced to Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) bloodied, half-naked, and with a torturer pouring gasoline down her throat. She’s being held in a North Korean prison and denying that she’s even a spy. The scene is an important introduction because it plants the seed in the audience’s mind that this woman is willing to face any duress and not blow her cover.
Angelina Jolie stars as Evelyn Salt
Photo credit: Sony Pictures