I have been left speechless on only a handful of occasions in my life.
If you think about it carefully then I'm sure you would be able to say the same.
Under normal circumstances we find things to say to express how we are feeling about the thing we are experiencing.
Even if it is simply a dumbstruck "wow".
Sometimes we are left without words because of the emotional punch of an event; the death of a loved one, a natural disaster maybe. At other times it is the awesome beauty or spectacle of a thing that leaves us gasping for air let alone words.
"Salt" also left me speechless at times.
Not because of its emotional punch.
Not because of its raw, naked, beauty.
Not because of its awesome spectacle.
No, "Salt" left me speechless because for a very long time I have yearned to do something more creative with my life, to create, to provoke, to inspire, to be the one responsible for speechlessness in others...to be, however pretentious this may sound, an Artist.
I'm not an artist though. I'm a man sat hunched over a laptop writing about films.
On a daily basis though I have a creative thought...an idea for a short story, a poem, a song, a film, a joke. They never get any further than my mind though. I don't have the faith in my ability, truth be told I am crippled by a very low opinion of myself and of whatever "talent" I might have and so I just sit and torture myself with thoughts of what might have been and what could be but never will.
Writer Kurt Wimmer has no such lack of belief.
He, clearly, thinks he is the proverbial dogs bollocks.
He has seen his screenplays turned into multi-million pound blockbusters by major studios time after time; "Equilibrium", "Law Abiding Citizen", "Ultraviolet" and "Street Kings" are just some of the things he has been responsible for.
Director Phillip Noyce is equally convinced of his value...although his track record has a few more spikes than Wimmers.
Together the two of them managed to persuade a major film studio to bankroll "Salt"
Here we get to the real reason why I was left speechless by this film...this is a film that is so awful, so monumentally hideous, so vile, so dreadful and so utterly, utterly artless that it, literally, rendered me speechless. I'm not exaggerating. This was the worst film I have seen since...well, I don't know when.
Now, I know it's easy for someone like me who has already confessed to not having the balls of Wimmer to sit and snipe at the work of someone who is, at least, doing the very thing I crave; creating, but when someone like Wimmer uses the opportunity he has been given to create and wastes it by manufacturing this sort of beastliness then I feel utterly vindicated in attacking.
This is a film that includes a "plot" to start a third world war by, and I quote, "...enraging a billion Muslims".
I'm not making that up.
That's a direct quote from "Salt"...a line written by Wimmer.
Kurt Wimmer is the sort of man who on being presented with the opportunity to write films sits in his office and writes lines like...
"I'm not a goddam Russian spy"
Kurt Wimmer is the movie worlds answer to Dan Brown.
Although, clearly, not any more.