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April 20, 2010

Trailer Trash Talk Volume #2 by Kristen Grillo

Salt - Starring Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor

Release Date: July 23rd, 2010.

When you hear the name Angelina Jolie, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? And before you go and blurt out the first inappropriate answer (She’s hot! She’s trash! She needs to stop adopting all them babies!) the question is geared towards her career, not her personal life. Unless that’s all you really care about. The gossip fodder. If that’s the case then you is in the wrong place. Y’all can go check out that sorta garbage over at that big purple freak show’s website: or whatever the hell it is. This here’s business! And getting back to business, whenever Jolie’s name is attached to a project I’m usually thinkin’ it’ll be something worth watching. I like Jolie. Even when nothing’s blowing up or she’s not crackin’ skulls, she always delivers a strong, dominant performance, making her sometimes the most interesting thing to watch in a film. Not too many thirty-something, A-listing ladies are capable of such range.

In our current trailer up for review, Jolie plays Evelyn Salt, a CIA officer who is accused of actually being a Russian spy. When she evades capture in an attempt to prove her innocence, her efforts seem to only fuel the speculation of her guilt.

When I first heard of Salt’s conception back in 2008, it was then said that Tom Cruise was on board to helm the role of Edwin Salt. As the script developed more deeply into a spy/espionage type thriller, Cruise backed out feeling that the storyline was too akin to that of his Mission: Impossible character, Ethan Hunt. Smart move, I’d say. Meanwhile on the sidelines, producers were already interested in casting Jolie into a separate, James Bond style type franchise so with Cruise dipping out, they then considered gender-flipping the role. Sprinkle in some of Jolie’s interest, a few tweaky-tweaks to the body of the script and…VoilĂ ! Edwin takes a trip down into Transgender Valley and becomes Evelyn. Mahvelous. Or is it? Let’s roll the video tape:

As I’m watching this trailer, I’m trying to picture what it’d be like if Cruise actually went through with this role. I’ll tell you right now that I’d be sitting here saying to myself, “Jesus CHRIST, not another one of these spy thriller shits.” It’s the same thing I said to myself when I saw Matt Damon’s trailer for that Green Zone. That shit immediately reminded me of The Bourne Identity (you know it did too, so don’t try and play yaself). Once that happens, I’m just aggravated. I tune out. If you’re a repeat offender, that’s it, you’ve lost me. Though, seeing Jolie fill in the title character’s shoes here, I’m….interested to say the least. The movie’s premise of “You think everyone’s who they say they are?” is something to mull over by the end of the preview. Her change in appearance from a suited up agent ,all blonde and pristine looking, into this dark and deadly rogue officer helps influence that notion. I’m wondering why this bitch is going through all that trouble? Just plead your case, woman! With that said, Salt could very well be one of those films that would’ve been an open & shut case yet it’s dragged out into another over the top, action-fluff film because Hollywood can’t do much else these days, creatively anyway. While I’m not “thrilled” to catch this thriller over the summer, I’m sure I’ll sneak in a back door to peep this joint. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some CCD reading to catch up on….

Salt: Anticipation Grade: B

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