Not worth her salt
I know, I’m sorry. That’s a terrible, predictable cliché. But so is this film. Much (and really I mean EVERYTHING) has been made of the fact that Angelina Jolie’s latest offering was written for a male lead, but that she took on the role, just as is, and *gasp* played it as a woman.
Perhaps that would be impressive if Evelyn Salt was played by Emma Thompson or Emily Watson (oh please! imagine!). But since the whole world knows Ms. Jolie-Pitt as Lara Croft anyway, I couldn’t find anything in this film to write home about.
It’s a shame – in this current terrorism-obsessed age, it’s almost refreshing to return nostalgically to the good old Cold War days, and have a decent stab at an assassination. Everyone loves a sleeper agent (particularly one who may or may not realise she is/isn’t one) and the Bourne films have set the bar high for exciting chase scenes atop moving vehicles in exotic locations. Unfortunately, Phillip Noyce (big ups for Rabbit Proof Fence and the Patriot Games films, which were excellent in their day) has pieced together a pretty mediocre action flick, which doesn’t deliver anything new, and then has the gall to rehash a whole lot of clichés, badly. Hey, maybe if we put Angelina in a really unconvincing blonde wig, she’ll look kinda Russian! Need a good guy who’s actually bad? – Liev Schrieber’s free! Apparently Michael Mann and Peter Berg were in line to direct, and MM being one of my favourite directors, I’m glad he dodged that bullet. I’m not sure even he could have produced something stylistic, clever and exciting here.
Imagine my disappointment as the titles finally rolled, leaving it distinctly open-ended in a “she’ll be back” Bourne-like way… Well, I can tell you now: I won’t be.