Salt [Blu-Ray] Phillip Noyce

Salt [Blu-Ray] Phillip Noyce
On the Blu-Ray release, one of the featurettes included refers to director Phillip Noyce as "the master of the political thriller." I'm sure even Noyce would dispute this silly title, but to his credit, he does manage to surmount the low expectations of this latest Angelina Jolie action extravaganza. It's not hard to forget his dull Jack Ryan pictures or his roll call of forgettable thrillers such as The Bone Collector, Sliver and The Saint. Fact is, Noyce has never made a better film than breakout thriller Dead Calm (1989). And with Angelina Jolie starring, all signs point to another high concept action vehicle with the same stench of girl power awfulness as Wanted or the Tomb Raider series. But after ten minutes or so, it becomes apparent this isn't just another Phillip Noyce hack-fest or Jolie faux-feminism, but a sharp as nails, tight, no frills actioner. Jolie plays a surprisingly humanized CIA employee whose domestic life is interrupted when a captured Russian spy accuses her of being a double agent. Jolie finds herself on the run from her former compatriots desperately trying reconnect with her husband and figure out who the hell she really is. An old school action aesthetic, which includes running, shooting and good old fashioned stunt work, provides the thrills, very few of which are bloated from CGI, a methodology that reminds us of some of the finer action films from the '90s, such as The Fugitive. The major hurdle of implausibility audiences need to overcome is the idea that Ms. Jolie, who looks all of 100 pounds of rake-thin skin and bones, could actually fight off trained spies twice her size. Forgiving this, Salt is one of the best action films of the year. The Blu-Ray featurettes contain the usual hyperbole, with actors and producers lauding the craftsmanship of Noyce and his experience in the genre. (Sony)