AWFJ Women On Film – “Salt” – Review by Susan Granger

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Angelina Jolie could turn out to be the #1 action star in the world. She’s that good in a

role written for Tom Cruise but rejected by him as being too similar to that of Ethan Hunt

in the “Mission Impossible” franchise. She’s a top-notch CIA agent who is accused of

being a Russian spy and goes on the run in order to figure out who set her up.

As the tense political thriller begins, Evelyn Salt (Jolie) is being tortured in a

North Korean prison. Then, escorted by CIA colleague Ted Winter (Liev Schreiber),

she’s ‘exchanged’ at the border and reunited with her husband, a German arachnologist

(August Diehl). Some time later, back in Washington, she’s suddenly accused of being a

sleeper spy by Orlov (Daniel Olbrychski), a Russian defector who claims she was planted

in the U.S. many years earlier by the Soviets as part of an elaborate plan to assassinate

the Russian president on a visit to New York and take over the American government.

Fearing for her husband’s life as well as her own, ever-resourceful Salt flees – with agents

Winter and Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor) in hot pursuit, as a myriad of misinformation and

espionage double-crosses cloud the true identity and purpose of Evelyn Salt.

Having written the character as Edwin A. Salt, screenwriters Kurt Wimmer, and Brian

Helgeland and director Phillip Noyce (“Patriot Games,” “Clear and Present Danger”) not

only juggled the gender switch but also engaged stunt coordinator Simon Crane (“Lara

Croft: Tomb Raider,” “Mr. & Mrs. Smith”) who coached Jolie in Muay Thai martial arts

and the Israeli grappling technique known as Krav Maga. According to Crane, Jolie’s an

expert driver, rides motorcycles superbly and has no fear of heights, rendering the pulse-

racing aerobatics more plausible than the plot. Yet it’s too bad there’s no sense of humor

With the recent real-life Russian spy swap still in the headlines, on the Granger Movie

Gauge of 1 to 10, “Salt” is a timely, enigmatic 8, featuring Hollywood’s most alluring

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.