Jolie is titular character Evelyn Salt, a CIA Agent who is accused of being a Russian spy by a walk-in defector. He claims she was sent to America as a young child to integrate herself into its society before taking it down from the inside. Looking to save the life of her husband, who would instantly be in danger after such an accusation, she breaks out of the interrogation room and goes on the run. Giving chase are her immediate superior, Liev Schreiber, and Chiwetel Ejiofor's internal investigative officer. As is the norm with films of this ilk, the lives of politicians at the high end of the food chain are at risk.
Starting off like an updated, punchier version of The Fugitive, the pace doesn't let up, as Jolie's Salt kicks and punches her way to safety. Noyce hasn't given her a sidekick, or inserted sloppy exposition, explaining what exactly is going on; instead hints are dropped, and flashbacks bled through when the film momentarily slows down. It's a genuinely interesting 'edge of your seat' thriller at that point. Soon, however, it gets needlessly convoluted and twists itself into too many knots, and the once effectively ambiguous plot is spelt out in crayon with a clichéd and ludicrous conclusion.
While Jolie shines, Schreiber has played this role in too many other films to work. A fine and accomplished character actor, he's now firmly typecast in the authoritative suit role, and deserves meatier gigs. Ejiofor is a cracking actor playing a character with little or no substance, who's just along for the ride. Generally speaking that's what happens when you've a superstar headlining, and, unsurprisingly, Salt is rarely off screen.
Although it lets itself down thoroughly come the end credits, there is just about enough here to justify your time. Any film that encourages the use of a sanitary towel as a makeshift plaster has something worthwhile going on.
Story by Mike Sheridan | 09:00 | Saturday 11th December 2010 | DVD review
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