Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Preview: Salt

Angelina Jolie, one of the rarest stars in the world. In the case that she can not only achieve the feat of top-lining an action film as a female, but then also sell boat loads of tickets to go see it. She's made a career for herself levitating between action, drama and even straight CGI. Garnering up to 15 milly a movie (with plenty of extras in those deals), she is the highest paid actress around (most of the time). 

I'd be hard pressed to find another actress, save Milla Jovovich, that can supply a steady line of pulse pounders on the norm. While not always the highest in quality, they could always be a hell of a lot worse. Hell... sometimes they are if I think about it.  

But be that as it may, here is my preview of Angie's next move in Tinseltown.

Her latest endeavor is the film Salt, directed by Philip Noyce (The Saint, Patriot Games). In the film, she plays C.I.A. officer Evelyn Salt, who is accused of being a sleeper spy for Mother Russia's KGB and must go on the run to clear her name. A plot that is slowly becoming (or maybe it's already here) a go-to point in Hollywood. Hopefully, this film does a better job of presenting the plot's strategy on celluloid then it appears it will. Then, that way, people will revere it, thinking twice about mucking-about in the same direction. Sort of like Unforgiven did for the western for a minute (minus The Quick And The Dead)

From what I can gather, this film, is being toted as summer-milk-the-money-cow-actioner. With little in vein of a good thriller with slow boiling intrigue and a "little things are the big things" kind of approach. So I'm sorry to say, this film is already set back a peg or two because of that. If the Bourne or more recently the re-invented Bond series has taught us anything, its that treating a film with patience and using brain work, while dropping an appropriate amount of applied action sequences--gets you everywhere. Now I'm not counting this thing out, as Jolie has done a number of her own stunts and was ready to supply a heavy amount of real live action herself. Which definitely counts for something. Hell, the poor woman even sustained a small head injury over this stuff. Jolie spent time training before filming to perform a lot of her stunts herself. Bonaventura (the film's producer) said "She is so prepared and so ready and gung-ho, she'll do any stunt. We had her jumping out of helicopters, shooting, jumping off of all sorts of things and infiltrating places that are impossible to infiltrate". 

Originally tailored for Tom Cruise, this film was ditched when they couldn't decide how to bring justice to Cruise's decision to play someone co close to Ethan Hunt from the Mission Impossible franchise. Noyce, had this to say about the joint decision with Cruise to pass:
"Around the time that Tom wasn’t prepared to commit to the script  as it was – I mean, his main fears were that the character was too close to Ethan Hunt, being a rogue spy, with extraordinary abilities. So over many months, we tried to twist and turn the story to differentiate the character of Edwin Salt from Ethan Hunt. But, you know, he had a valid point. It was kind of returning to an offshoot of a character that he’d already played. It’s like playing the brother, or the cousin, of somebody that you played in another movie."
Same thing I woulda done. Spice it up, son. That's also number two on the films Jolie has stepped in after Cruise left. The second being the upcoming French remake, The Tourist. He don't need to get involved with that stuff anyway, Tom Cruise is TOM CRUISE, again. And by that I mean, he's got his gold-star sticker back now and you can't touch him again. Just watch and see.

With movies like the Bourne and Bond franchises out there, it's refreshing to see something out there, with a pair of breasts, and a brain to go with it.

Maybe I was too harsh earlier,this film could be saved with plot details we're not made aware of until we actually sit down in the sticker smelly theater seat. She's Jolie for a reason, if she was in the habit of making total brainless crap, this film wouldn't have Philip Noyce attached to it. I'm sure she's had the right amount of personal script-doctoring done to the script to tailor herself, which could be good or bad for any hopefuls of this film out there. Besides, those the scribes Brian Helgeland and Kurt Wimmer, together have some pretty good tract records. Brian Helgeland alone woulda been good enough, with LA Confidential, Mystic River, Bourne Supremacy, Green Zone, Man On Fire, And the upcoming Russell Crowe/Ridley Scot epic Robin Hood. Kurt Wimmer = Law Abiding Citizen, Street Kings, Ultraviolet. Eh not so good. But also The Thomas Crowne Affair and Equilibrium too, so there's a plus.

Anyway, I have confidence in this movie to mos def keep me entertained, and hopefully surprise me. You'll be reading the review soon enough (if you're so inclined) and we'll see how many bananas I'll give the thing.  

Salt, is set to be released in North America on July 23, 2010... 2mro nigga! But for now, here's the trailer embedded below. Check it out, and then get to a theater and see for yourself.

And yeah, that's right, Joker-purple border.

Munki Out.

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