Australian director Phillip Noyce is someone who has had a very interesting career with the 1990's producing movies such as Dead Calm (yes, that's 1989 to be precise), Patriot Games, Sliver, The Saint, Clear and Present Danger and The Bone Collector his output was seen as not only critically, but also commercially successful. Then in the next decade he created Rabbit-Proof Fence, The Quiet American and Catch a Fire which could only be considered box office flops with a total box office of $US23 million in America (although the worldwide total was double that). Turn to 2010 and the director has unleashed Salt starring Angelina Jolie which blasted onto the scene and amassed a whopping $US294 million on a budget of $US110 million. A massive success for the director and the studio, but what’s is about...
As a CIA officer, Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) swore an oath to duty, honor and country. Her loyalty will be tested when a defector accuses her of being a Russian spy. Salt goes on the run, using all her skills and years of experience as a covert operative to elude capture. Salt's efforts to prove her innocence only serve to cast doubt on her motives, as the hunt to uncover the truth behind her identity continues.
It's fair to say that Salt is best described as a mixture of James Bond and Jason Bourne, but with the lead being a female character. Now I'm not just saying there's similarities to those two franchises due to the spy/agent background, but also the quality of the film itself. There are certainly some over the top moments, but it all adds to the fun with plenty of action sequences, and twists and turns, to keep you on the edge of your seat. As we're well aware Angelina is pretty good with action movies (Tomb Raider, while not the best films plot-wise, showed her skills off quite well) and Salt is one of her best with plenty of physical stunt work undertaken by the actress herself. Supporting cast including Chiwetel Ejiofor (2012 and Liev Schreiber (Wolverine) are also up to the task while the director, Phillip Noyce, keeps the movie going at a fair pace.
It must be said that Salt is a pretty good movie overall. Despite a few plot holes this is a very entertaining film that stands up alongside the James Bond and Jason Bourne films. This is well worth checking out.
There are several other languages on this disc besides the primary English Track. Also included is an English Audio Descriptive Service encoded in Dolby Digital 2.0 at 192kbps, Japanese and German DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (16- bit/48Khz) tracks, and both Hindi and Turkish Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks both encoded in Dolby Digital 5.1 at 640kbps. Brief samples of these tracks didn't demonstrate any issues, but of course the Dolby Digital tracks don't quite have the same impact as the lossless Master Audio tracks.
Subtitles for the feature film are provided in English, English SDH, Japanese, German, Dutch, Hindi, and Turkish while Commentary Subtitles are available in English, Japanese, German, and Dutch. Sampling the English subtitle track didn't demonstrate any glaring issues with the accuracy to the on-screen dialogue.
Filmmakers Commentary: This commentary offers an interesting insight into the making of Salt and is well worth a listen on either version of the film.
The Ultimate Female Action Hero (8:05/HD): This is a little bit of a gush piece about Angelina Jolie and how much of the stunt work Angeline actually performed in the film.
The Real Agents (12:33/HD): This featurette is an interesting watch in that real agents have been interviewed and give an insight into what the life is like as a real-world spy and which aspects of the film, such as wearing a disguise, are based in reality.
Spy Disguise: The Looks of Evelyn Salt (5:26/HD): A brief look at the different appearances of Evelyn Salt throughout the course of the movie and her mission. A bit brief and superficial.
The Modern Master of the Political Thriller: Phillip Noyce (9:15/HD): Australian director Phillip Noyce discusses his inspirations for a movie such as Salt. Mildly interesting.
False Identity: Creating A New Reality (7:14/HD): This is a pretty cool featurette where the director discusses the amount of CG used in some of the key scenes in the film.
Salt: Declassified (29:47/HD): This is the lengthiest of the extras on this disc and is the "Making of" documentary which provides a pretty good insight into the making of this film although it does retell a little too much of the storyline at times and many moments already appear in the other extras. Still, there's a lot worse out there and this is worth the half an hour viewing time.
movieIQ (HD): This feature allows you to bring up interesting facts and trivia about people and sequences in the movie after being downloaded from the Internet.
Salt PS3 Theme (HD): With the disc in your PS3, navigate to the Game menu and you can install a Salt Theme - admittedly though it's only a background.
Review By: Dave Warner