2010 Preview: Salt
by Brandon Gray
February 5, 2010
Release Date: July 23
Genre: Action Thriller
Director: Phillip Noyce
Writer: Kurt Wimmer and Brian Helgeland
Cast: Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Studio Description: Evelyn Salt (Jolie) is a CIA officer who swore an oath to duty, honor, and country. When she is accused by a defector of being a Russian sleeper spy, Salt goes on the run to clear her name and ultimately prove she is a patriot. Using all her skills and years of experience as a covert operative, she must elude capture and protect her husband or the world's most powerful forces will erase any trace of her existence.
• Watch the Trailer
Analysis: With Salt, Angelina Jolie is playing right in her wheelhouse. Since her rise to fame, the actress has found box office success in the action genre, but audiences have mostly ignored her in any other genre. Her exotic bad girl image has worked well in action hits like Lara Croft: Tomb Raider ($131.2 million), Mr. & Mrs. Smith ($186.3 million) and Wanted ($134.5 million), but has proved largely unrelatable in her other roles, ranging from the box office disaster Beyond Borders ($4.4 million) to the modest Changeling ($35.7 million).
Salt dashes into theaters on July 23, the same date as The Bourne Supremacy back in 2004. That's not a random point, because Salt comes off as a female Bourne in a trailer that slickly sets up the movie's premise and shows off some spectacular action scenes. Clearing one's name and going on the run to find the truth are perennially popular themes for action thrillers, working like gangbusters in the Bourne series, Mission: Impossible, Minority Report, Enemy of the State, The Fugitive and many more.
While drudging up the Russians as villains again may seem passé, the combination of a compelling action thriller premise, kinetic stunts and a star aligned with her bankable persona could pepper Salt with sizable box office returns.
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Similar Movies: Mr. and Mrs. Smith, The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, The Long Kiss Goodnight, Mission: Impossible, Mission: Impossible II, Mission: Impossible III, Minority Report, Enemy of the State, Wanted, The Good Shepherd, Spy Game, Breach, The Fugitive, Shooter, Point of No Return, Eagle Eye
Related Charts: Spy, Action Heroine
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