First Hit: Despite Jolie’s strong acting and excellent execution, the ending was predictable and telegraphed.
For a film to be suspenseful it has to be set up that way. It has to keep the audience wondering what will happen and make them believe what they are seeing is really the truth. Salt was not set up to do this.
I’d be surprised if anyone in the theater thought for one minute, that Salt (played by Angelina Jolie) would turn out to be a die-hard Russian spy wanting to kill the President of the US. With that resting in one’s mind from the get go, how could one buy into the story on the screen? I didn't.
Therefore the film became one about; can this obvious story be told well and would the acting and action be engaging? To those questions the answer is yes, it was engaging and it was fun to watch.
The story is about a Russian man named Vassily Orlov (played by Daniel Olbrychski and Daniel Pearce) who wants to cause havoc in the world because he prefers the cold war fight between the U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. of the 1950's and 1960's to the present day friendship. To keep that old battle alive he kidnaps young kids in Russia and trains them to be obedient killers and spies.
Salt, who is a US Russian diplomat’s daughter, is one of them. To carry out his plan he sends these well trained people into the US to live their lives and to be ready to march on his orders to perform the covert functions they were trained to deliver.
Jolie is good and keeps the whole film interesting. She is both athletic and beautiful. You believe she can to all the things she does in the film; from beating the crap out of people to saving the world from total destruction. Liev Schreiber as Jolie’s boss Ted Winter is strong as the man who cares but also has his own secret. Chiwetel Ejiofor, as Peabody the government agent overseeing the problem of spies, is his usual strong self. Olbrychski is great as the Russian activist who wants the world to be different than it is. Phillip Noyce did well with the given script but the problem is that the script is too obvious to work as a suspenseful thriller.
Overall: It is entertaining in an action sort of way but it is not suspenseful as the ending becomes glaringly obvious as the film rolls.