Angelina Jolie's new spy thriller, Salt, is getting an enviable amount of free publicity thanks to rekindled public fascination with the Cold War triggered by the June capture of 11 real-life Russian spies. Comparisons between Jolie's character, Evelyn Salt, and Anna Chapman, the "femme fatale" of the Russian agents, have been fueled by reports that Jolie had invited Chapman, 28, to the film's Moscow premiere. (Watch the Salt trailer.) Here's what commentators are saying about this instance of art imitating life:
Jolie's Evelyn Salt is Anna Chapman: "Give [Chapman] a gun, a mini-dress, and a charismatic pout," says Richard Corliss in Time, "and you've got Salt." Which is a fortunate coincidence. Because without the real-life espionage drama, complete with covert agents setting up a domestic life as cover, Salt might seem "pretty silly."
"Angelina Jolie: Worth her Salt"
Salt is better than the real thing: It's certainly harder to dismiss a spy movie as complete fantasy now that we know there really are secret agents in our midst, says Anne Brodie at Monsters and Critics. But, come on, Angelina Jolie — who's basically a female Jason Bourne — is sexier and more daring than the real thing. "I'm pretty sure Anna Chapman can’t shimmy down eight floors of a building hand over hand."
"Salt — movie review"
Anna Chapman and her comrades saved Salt with free publicity: With its outdated Cold-War plot and a "shaky," overcomplicated story, Salt's prospects were not looking good, says Tim Plant at Metro Weekly. Luckily, the recent blanket media coverage of "actual sleeper agents" caught in the U.S. makes the film "so timely" that it almost seems that Columbia Pictures' marketing machine plotted with the Russians to turn this into a blockbuster.