Released in 2010, Salt, a spectacular action thriller directed by Philip Noyce and written by Kurt Wimmer, is made in the style of Cold War spy thrillers. The fact that Angelina Jolie was invited to the cast to replace Tom Cruise himself, who refused to act, gives him a special piquancy.
In the story, she plays CIA Special Agent Evelyn Salt, who one day accompanies her tough colleagues Winter and Peabody on a difficult mission to interrogate a Russian defector. During a tough conversation, he, in all seriousness, begins to furiously assert that Salt is in fact a “sleeping” agent of Russian intelligence, ready to commit a monstrous act. This plot twist turns Evelyn into a controversial figure with nebulous motives and shifting loyalties.
Terrified, she is forced to go on the run because no one believes in her innocence. Now she is destined to fight both villains and good people in order to clear her name and thwart a plot to kill millions.
What is the movie “Salt” about?
The action of this thriller itself begins in North Korea with the fact that a certain woman is being tortured for information. Despite being tortured, she insists that she is not an American spy. As a result, she is released during the exchange. Here the audience will recognize her name – Evelyn Salt.
Two years after these events, the protagonist is interviewing for an office job, hoping to give up being a CIA spy and preparing for her anniversary with her new husband, German arachnologist Mike Krause, who was instrumental in securing her release from a North Korean prison.
On the way out of the office, Evelyn is called in by handler Ted Winter to escort the Russian defector Orlov for questioning. Unexpectedly, he declares that Salt is a comrade of Chenkov, who as a child received special training under the KA-12 program and now must kill the Russian president during his visit to New York, which will lead to an escalation of tension between the countries.
Not believing these accusations, Salt tries to quickly contact her husband by phone, she successfully escapes the CIA facility where she works, before making a risky choice and heading to her apartment in search of Mike.
There it becomes clear that he was kidnapped. Evelyn pulls out her travel bag, retrieves the spider from her husband’s terrarium, and escapes with one backpack before a CIA team led by counterintelligence agent Peabody breaks into her apartment. These scenes also show that Evelyn is resourceful, cool-headed, and well trained.
What follows is events that make viewers question Salt’s innocence, as she actually shoots the Russian president after detonating several explosive devices.
But when Peabody’s agent tries to apprehend Salt, despite holding him at gunpoint, she suddenly drops her gun and surrenders. This choice confuses and confuses Peabody, becoming a very important plot point that reveals Salt’s motives and the brilliance of her plan. She ends up escaping anyway and takes a ferry to meet Orlov and a group of Russian agents. There, having witnessed the cruel reprisal against her husband taken hostage, Salt kills Orlov with a broken vodka bottle and all his comrades, making it clear that she is no longer participating in the spy multi-move according to their rules.
In the next step, Salt infiltrates the White House disguised as a NATO officer. Here, she needs to gain access to the bunker under the White House, where she must take control of the US nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, the Pentagon informs the president that satellite images confirm that Russia is preparing to launch its intercontinental missiles.
In the same bunker, Agent Winter asks for weapons to help protect the head of state from Salt. Here it turns out that in fact he is another Russian spy agent from KA-12 – Nikolai Tarkovsky. As a result, Winter takes away the gun and kills everyone in the bunker, except for the president, including the national security adviser and the secretary of defense, who in his last moments covers the president with his own body.
After that, the villain selects two targets for a nuclear launch. Through this revelation, it becomes clear how extensive Orlov’s plans were to destroy the United States, as well as the number of children he trained and put in place to carry out his plan.
The meaning of the movie “Salt”
In parallel, Salt finally makes it to the windows of the bunker, only to see the President of the United States fall to the ground after being hit in the head by Agent Winter. Salt realizes that Winter is planning to launch a nuclear weapon.
She tries to use his affection for her as leverage by talking to him about why he didn’t tell her who he is and why she doesn’t recognize him from training as a child. Winter explains that he was in a class above her and is now honored to launch an attack that will lead America to an agonizing death.
As the computer slowly loads the targets and the seconds tick by, Salt continues to try to convince Winter to let her into the command bay. He hesitates, but eventually agrees to let it in when something on TV distracts his attention. The next moment explains the whole meaning of Evelyn’s actions even before Orlov declared the true origin, and then killed her husband.
The fact is that the news release says that the Russian president is not dead. In fact, he was given a paralytic substance made from spider venom to feign signs of death. It’s finally clear what Salt did with the poison she extracted from Spider Mike.
It is at this point that the main character finally makes it clear to Winter that she intends to stop the attack, since she has nothing more to lose. Once in the bunker, Salt starts the fight while the seconds count down until the targets are confirmed to be launched. Only after the secret service manages to get into the blocked room, Evelyn deactivates the nuclear attack, stopping the war.
Explanation of the ending of the movie “Salt”
After Salt stops the nuclear launch, the tactical team, who discover she was wearing a bulletproof vest and survived being shot in the back, handcuffs her. As she is led down the hallway, Salt walks past Peabody, giving him a meaningful look as she overhears a counterintelligence agent learning that Orlov has been killed.
As Salt is led upstairs in the White House, she sees her chance to take down Winter. As a result, hanging from the railing, Evelyn strangles him with a chain from her handcuffs. After this murder, she is led out of the White House across a snowy meadow to a helicopter that is waiting to take her to the FBI Detention Center.
Agent Peabody is waiting inside the helicopter. The other escorts say he only has time to interrogate her before the FBI takes over. Naturally, Peabody has tons of questions about Salt’s loyalty and the choices she made. He knows that she was a Russian spy, but who is she now, because the Russian president survived, Salt did not shoot Peabody when she had the opportunity, and Orlov’s death does not mean that Salt is still a loyal Russian spy. Clearly Agent Peabody is piecing together the inconsistencies and wants clarification from Salt.
During the flight, they have a lively conversation, and Evelyn reveals the truth about Winter as a real agent of the Russian special services, embedded in the most important CIA structures and about to launch nuclear missiles on Muslim cities. After Peabody receives a text message confirming that Salt’s prints are on the ferry where Orlov was found dead, he appears to agree that the woman prevented a massive war.
After that, Salt declares his intention to kill everyone involved in the KA-12 program for taking away her childhood, her loved one, and even her real name. They trained her to be an assassin and determined her future. Even though Salt is responsible for all the bad things she did, they left her no other choice until she realized she had nothing more to lose.
Ultimately, Agent Peabody removes the handcuffs from Salt, allowing her to escape custody by jumping out of a helicopter into a river because he believes her despite his inner protests. He now believes that she will go after the remaining members.