Studio: Columbia Pictures
Plot: CIA officer Evelyn Salt sets out to clear her name after a Russian defector claims she’s a double agent.
Cast: Angelina Jolie, Live Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Daniel Olbrychski, August Diehl, Andre Braugher
Bottom Line: ****
By Laurence Washington
Add a little bit of Bond and a couple shakes of Bourne, and you have the explosive ingredients of “Salt” – a mind thrilling rollercoaster ride that begins in a CIA interrogation room and ends on the edge of your seat.
“Salt” is everything you’ve ever loved in an action packed movie – chases, explosions and yes, an actual plot that leaves the audience guessing right up to the closing credits.
Hard-body Angelina Jolie stars as Evelyn Salt, the CIA’s top agent – America’s answer to James Bond. That is until a Russian spy claiming to be dying from cancer walks into CIA headquarters and says Evelyn Salt is going to assassinate the Russian Premier during his New York City visit.
In true action movie form, Salt’s superiors believe the Russian spy. Thus setting off a series of car and foot chases as Salt attempts to clear her name, find her kidnapped husband and stop a nuclear exchange between Russia and the United States. Of course this plot sounds simple, and there would be much of a story if Salt’s superiors didn’t believe the Russian. However, “Salt” is a complex movie with multiple twist and turns where it’s hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys.
Angelina Jolie is believable and delivers a great performance as the super agent who single handedly fights off Russian and American spies, and New York City SWAT teams. Live Schreiber and Chiwetel Ejio are equally compelling as Salt’s CIA handlers who believe she’s not a double agent, but they still have to pursue her.
Warning: Suspension of belief is stretched to the limit as Salt’s escapes become more and more unbelievable. However, “Salt’s” multitude of cinematic sins are forgivable because the movie never insults the audience’s intelligence – an audience that never catches its breath.
This column was originally printed in the August 15, 2010 - August 28, 2010 edition.