Anniversary Week: Monday Movie Fun Fact – 7/28/14

Here we are, at the start of Anniversary Week at Drew’s Reviews.  Earlier today, I started my Star Wars review portion with A New Hope.  Next up is the first new feature I’m introducing: Monday Movie Fun Fact.  I think the name is pretty self-explanatory.  Every Monday I will post a piece of movie trivia or just a simple fun fact about a film.  The trivia in this maiden entry was also in my review for Salt, but since that was so long ago, I’m going to share it again.

The titular role of Salt was originally offered to Tom Cruise and was written as Edwin A. Salt.  However, Cruise backed out because he felt Salt was too similar to Ethan Hunt, his character from the Mission Impossible series.  Angelina Jolie was then offered the role and she accepted, so the script was rewritten and the character renamed Evelyn.

Tom Cruise as Salt would have looked weird…

As much as I like Cruise’s action films, I’m glad Jolie ended up with the part because she did phenomenal with it.  I’m not sure if this poster with Cruise as Salt was official (at least until Jolie took over) or fan made, but it still looks cool nonetheless.

cruise-salt-posterThe anniversary celebration continues tomorrow with a review of The Empire Strikes Back, as well as the introduction of another new feature.  See you tomorrow!

Salt Review

Salt movie posterSynopsis
Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) is a top CIA agent who is forced to go on the run when a Russian defector (Daniel Olbrychski) accuses her of being a Russian sleeper agent. Salt must use her years of field experience to evade fellow CIA agent Ted Winter (Liev Schreiber) and counterintelligence officer Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who are on her trail.

Salt is one of my favorite “is she, isn’t she?” movies I have seen. One moment you’re like “She can’t be working for the Russians.” Then her actions make you think “well maybe she is.” Then the cycle repeats itself throughout the entire movie. It makes for an exhilarating experience that keeps you engaged in the story.

Because there are several twists, you never know quite what to expect. The final twist was unexpected and well done. I did not see it coming, but it wasn’t entirely out of left field, either. A lot of movies try to throw in a plot twist for the shock value but it doesn’t fit into the movie’s context. Not here. In Salt, it actually makes sense. I probably would have given this film a lower rating if the twist didn’t work so well. I’m a sucker for a unexpected (but well done) plot twist.

The ending was left open for a sequel, if they wanted to make one. However, the plot had closure, so there really wouldn’t be any reason to unless it was a good story. Still, it’s cool to know the possibility is there.

Jolie once again proves why she is one of the best female action stars in Hollywood right now. She doesn’t completely dominate in fights, but rather uses her environment to her advantage, such as jumping off a wall to add power to a punch. Some action movies make their heroines thoroughly thrash her opponents, and that’s not always believable. But in Salt, Jolie fights in a manner that fits her stature and you can believe in her strength level.

Throughout the film, Jolie’s hair cleverly portrays her character’s state of mind. In the first act, it is blonde, a simile to her innocent and laid back outlook. Then it is dyed black in the second act, showing she has taken a dark turn and will do anything to find her husband. The last act has her hair cut short, symbolizing her severing ties to her past and doing what it takes to finish the job. Maybe I’m looking into it too much, but it is still interesting to think about.

Here’s some movie trivia: The character of Evelyn Salt was originally written as Edwin A. Salt and was offered to Tom Cruise. However, Jolie took the role when Cruise turned it down because he felt it was too similar of a character to Mission Impossible‘s Ethan Hunt.

If you like movies with a good twist, Salt is the movie for you. Great action and shifting character motives that keep you on your toes keep this seemingly generic movie from going dull.