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Headscratchers / Salt

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  • Unless I understood it wrong, the villain's Evil Plan was: A) nuke the Mecca, B) piss off the whole Arab world, and C) they will destroy the US in retaliation.... How? Shit would obviously hit the fan and it certainly wouldn't be pretty, but the US ceasing to exist?
    • The destruction of the US is not necessarily genocide. Best case scenario: the UN slaps the US with economic sanctions that cripple the country and knock it out of superpower status. Worst case scenario: NATO looks the other way, or actively participates, as any number of Muslims begin covert and overt warfare against the US. Either way, the American era is done for.

  • The ending of the theatrical version doesn't make any sense, as the US president survives being shot by Winters. Salt running away still, even though the evidence along with the president's testimony about Winters probably being enough to prove her innocent, just makes her look stupid. The Director's Cut has Winters actually killing the president, and then even throws in a sequel hook about the new President that seems to imply that he might be one of Orlov's sleeper agents as well. It just makes so much more sense, I don't know why they changed it.
    • Noyce called the Director's Cut his "own personal take on the material, free from the politics and restrictions of producers, studio or censorship ratings." Thus implying that some or all of those things vetoed the ending that wound up in the Director's Cut in favour of the theatrical one.
  • Why did the CIA/Secret Service guy free Salt at the end? Even if she wasn't EVIL, she was an admitted Soviet trained agent (she just had a change of heart)! Surely he ought to be more interested in learning all he can about the threat rather than letting her go free on the off chance she can uncover others in the programme. Granted, the only agent that managed to last more than a couple of seconds against her was another Russian agent, but it seems a massive gamble to expect she (unsupported and alone) can do what the entire apparatus of the US security services can't. I was really hoping that she'd turn out to really be a Russian agent after all and that she's just played him there, but no.
    • The CIA probably isn't going to be allowed to go into Russia and start murdering high Russian officials, regardless of what they've done in the US. Salt, on the other hand, could go on a chainsaw murder rampage in Red Square and the US government can just stand there and go "Hey man, can't blame us, you trained that lunatic". Plus, he might figure that he can learn a lot about the threat just by standing back and watching them come out of the woodwork after Salt — in other words, using her as much as live bait as deniable asset.
  • Why was Salt placed in a police car without any sort of barrier between the front and rear seats?
    • That car wasn't designed to really hold any passengers that they thought would pose a threat like that. Some police SUV's do not have the barrier in between, especially K9 units, which that SUV happened to be I believe.
    • Okay, so why would they place a sleeper agent who'd just assassinated the Russian president in a K9 car?
    • Some Real Life police cruisers don't have cages or barriers. More than a few officers have been killed because of this.

  • What about NATO uniform? What Orlov actually meant when he talked about the other sleeper agent in NATO uniform was "uniform from a NATO member state". He considers Salt to be smart enough to figure out the rest.

  • Is anyone else bugged by how ineffectual and impotent this movie makes the American government compared to the unstoppable Russians? The action and acting is all fine, yes, but it just comes off as a propaganda film for a war that ended twenty years ago. This is explained because it wasn't really the Russian government but one ex-government Russian who was still carrying out a plan from the Cold War that everyone else still in Russia had forgotten about.
  • Why would the United States and Russia immediately go to war with each other? On the news reports that we see in the movie, Salt is identified as a terrorist, as in not working for the American government. So why would they go after the government? Knowing the world of current international relations, I believes that the more likely solution would be that the two governments work together to hunt down the terrorist organisation responsible for the assassination attempts on the American and Russian presidents.
    • The CIA was trying to cover up her "allegiance", so for everyone outside she would just be an American terrorist, seemingly freelance.
    • At one point in the movie, the news reports on TV are identifying Salt as an American intelligence agent. Whatever the government says, it's not gonna shake that niggling feeling in the back of the Russians' minds that the Americans assassinated their President.
    • Not to mention that there were probably Soviet agents stirring up the unrest in Russia.
  • Am I the only one who felt pained by the Hollywood Acceptable Targets? They attacked N. Korea, Russia, suggested all Communists are infaltrating American Government to kill the President and took a pot shot at the Middle East and Muslims. The only group they missed out were the Nazis (probably because they are completely incompatible with Communists) but still...
    • The North Korea thing is realistic. The Russian government was not working with the Soviets. They never suggested that all Communists were out to kill the president, it's just that this one extremist group is the only one we see. As for the "pot shot" at the Middle East and Muslims... what was it? American nukes were going to destroy Mecca - all Winter said was that the Muslims would be pissed that their holy city had been destroyed, which is plausible.
      • Her German husband was pretty awesome. The man singlehandedly forced America to get his girl out of North Korea. Hell, in a way it portrays North Korea in a positive light. They managed to catch a spy that literally broke into the presidential bunker WHILE being wanted for killing the Russian President and embarrassed every branch of American counter intelligence including the Secret Service.
      • North Korea as Properly Paranoid? Uh oh.
      • "Plausible"?? It's the holy city! "Definitely" would be like it.
    • North Korea is in no ways communist just evil they put on a veneer of communism for propaganda to say to their citizens "we really do have your best interests at heart" while basically using them as serfs I think its entirely justified to show them as bad guys.
  • The twist reveal, such as it is, is fairly moronic. If you want to cripple the United States and you have unfettered access to America's own nuclear arsenal, how does targeting Mecca and Tehran make any sense? A few dozen—even a few hundred—terrorist attacks is not going to bring down a global superpower. If the Russian extremists wanted to cripple the United States, it would have made more sense to target America's biggest cities with its own nukes.
    • But wouldn't that potentially martyr the U.S.? It would weaken it, sure, but there are still other superpowers that could support it. On the other hand, an unprovoked nuclear attack on another country would have massive political ramifications, potentially turning former allies against the U.S..
      • Even major international goodwill would only go so far with a dozen major American cities eviscerated, fallout turning farms into toxic wasteland, a few dozen million dead and a hundred million more facing starvation, disease, and radiation poising, no functioning electronic infrastructure thanks to the EMPs roiling about the countryside, and the country in general knocked back to a 3rd world nation. Thing about being a martyr is, you're still dead.
      • Um, and it would also make it significantly more believable for the US to blame Russia for this and completely destroy Russia's political and global standing whereas the US trying to blame another country for them attacking the Middle East would be much harder to believe.
      • The US can, at any time, launch almost 2000 nuclear weapons (possibly more, I'm not sure I'm understanding the strategic stockpile and MIR Vs correctly), each with 22 times the kilotonage of the larger bomb dropped in World War II. If our own arsenal were to be turned against us, it wouldn't necessarily kill every last single American, but it would probably render the country as an entity in no shape to be pointing fingers.
      • America would be fucked, sure, but America isn't the whole world. There are US allies out there — several of whom are also nuclear powers — who are going to look a scenario with sleeper agents running around and America somehow nuking itself, decide that America probably wouldn't just nuke itself out of the blue one day, and conclude that responsibility might lie with one of America's enemies — and Russia, in that sense, would be suspect number one. In short, nuking America might knock out America but it also potentially risks backfiring on Russia. Whereas framing America for an unprovoked attack on a third party carries less risk of backfiring on Moscow.
  • What exactly did exposing Salt do in the first place? It didn't bring the US to Defcon 2 (which was necessary for the "Nuke the Middle East" plot), that was the assassination of the Russian President. Since that was due to the (apparently) unrelated death of the US Vice President, the assassination of the Russian President would have been easier to achieve if Salt hadn't been already under suspicion. Am I forgetting something?
  • How in the world Evelyn Salt is captured by N. Koreans in the first place? I know she is holding back to the level of average CIA agents but isn't that average should be higher so they wouldn't be sniffed in the first place?
  • In the beginning, they subject Orlov to brain scans in order to verify his story. Couldn't they have done the same to Salt?