Salt - caught in the cookie jar

SaltThe question isn't, as the movie tagline would have you believe, 'Who is Salt?' but really 'How bad is Salt'? The answer may surprise you because it is not nearly as bad as you'd think. It is not good at all but that was never the concern amongst the masses. The concern, almost a mass hysteria, was always how bad was it going to be? How will we survive it? Will we out-live its 99 minutes? Was it going to be Gigli-bad? Or maybe Glitter-bad, even? But no. We can breathe easy. It is nowhere close. It is pretty much anything you'd expect from a Hollywood film, except of course, a female spy in a leading role in a leading summer film, not sure it has ever been done before. And it wasn't meant to be this time. Salt was written for Tom Cruise -- who probably realized in time he cannot pull another impossible mission off, specially now, married to Katie, his cards are on the table, and they don't look that good.

Salt is another assault of another Russian spy on our collective senses. It is the story of covert operations that seem to be happening only in films these days because in real life you don't even need to be covert anymore apparently. What is this sudden fascination with Russian fascists one wonders. We recently had about 12 arrested in real life. We have a new TV show or two featuring Russian spies, Despicable Me, the despicable little animation film that just came out a few weeks ago and now this -- Salt.

Angelina Jolie is the said savory spy. The filmmakers have desperately tried to recreate the 'Wanted' sensibility but failed miserably. 'Wanted' had the curved bullets but Salt has nothing but angles. Even the action sequences, barring the one on trucks at the beginning, are somewhat boring. But what really kills Salt is the sugar -- the small dose of romance, the affected love story, the concern, the care, the desire to do right. We want our mindless violence and we want it straight up, and salty not sugar coated. Try harder, saltier, next time, Angelina.