Salt
PG-13
Entertainment: +2 1/2
Acceptability: -4

Main actors: Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor. Director: Phillip Noyce.

In television interviews, Angelina Jolie shares that playing a James Bond style CIA agent in Salt fulfills a longtime dream. She dominates the action thriller as she proves herself as a fearless, ruthless and indestructible CIA agent. When an elderly Russian defector, Orlov (Daniel Olbrychski) comes to the CIA to warn them of a Russian plot to bring down the U.S. Government, he names Salt as a Russian undercover agent. Her colleague and friend, Ted Winter (Liev Schreiber), doubts the accusation but their boss, Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor) begins to suspect Salt’s loyalty.

What Salt lacks that most action films do is humor and sympathy for its characters. There’s hardly time to draw a breath between beatings, killings, explosions and unbelievable stunts performed by Jolie while escaping or pursuing her character’s enemies. In spite of this film’s fauIts, it’s safe to guess that Evelyn Salt will be back – watch out, James Bond.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Salt will no doubt be a summer hit, but parents concerned about content should be aware of the extreme and constant violence/action. PG-13 ratings are becoming much more common to attract wider audiences than R ratings. Flashbacks of Agent Salt’s past and her relationship with husband Mike (August Diehl) offer the only respite from incessant graphic violence. A prequel covering her most unusual childhood might make a more interesting story. While James Bond also faces danger, he always comes out unscathed. Not so with Evelyn Salt – the first scene shows her bloody, swollen face from a vicious beating in a Korean prison. During many escapes and pursuits she leaps from one 18-wheeler to another as they speed along crowded expressways, hangs precariously from high-rise apartment ledges, falls into traffic, etc., etc. When she needs a motorcycle for escape, she kills the innocent driver in cold blood. Her targets never survive but she does.

Some very strong profanities and a few obscenities sully the dialogue for no reason but to give it “reality.” If reality is so important, are we to accept that a beautiful young woman performing heinous acts and presented as a heroine is real? Now that’s scary. Salt is tasteless for anyone looking for meaningful entertainment.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Distributor: Columbia Pictures

Summary
Crude Language: Several “hells” and “damns”
Obscene Language: Two or three s-words
Profanity: Many include J-C, G-damn, J, C
Violence: Incessant graphic killings, bloody beatings and life threatening action scenes
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: None
Other: Complete lack of concern for human life
Running Time: 96 minutes
Intended Audience: Young Adults

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