Directed by PHILLIP NOYCE
Starring ANGELINA JOLIE, LIEV SCHREIBER,
and CHIWETEL EJIOFOR
Salt: I preface this by saying that I'm not a big Angelina Jolie fan, but this is a great movie. It's a familiar formula--secret Russian spies, double agents, assassinations, intrigue, etc, but there's a right way to do a formulaic spy thriller and then there's the wrong way. Salt does it the right way and it does it well.
Plot: CIA Agent Evelyn Salt has been detained and tortured in a North Korean in a prison. Her future husband, German arachnologist Michael Krause (August Diehl) campaigns tirelessly for her release. Her fellow fellow agent, Ted Winter (Liev Schreiber) arranges a prison exchange and she is eventually released. Evelyn confesses to Michael that she works for the CIA. She warns him that it's dangerous for them to be together. Michael doesn't care and they soon marry.
Two years later, a Russian defector, Vasilly Orlov (Daniel Olbrychski) walks into one of the CIA's satellite offices, which just happens to be Evelyn's office. Evelyn is the Russian expert, as her parents were Russian ambassadors 30+ years ago before their tragic car "accident" in Moscow. While Evelyn interrogates him, Orlov tells her about a Russian plot to destroy the United States by using sleeper agents trained from birth. Orlov tells her that there's one sleeper agent in particular who is about to kill the Russian President on American soil, starting a global crisis. Orlov reveals that the sleeper agent's name is Evelyn Salt.
Evelyn's world immediately unravels with this revelation, whether true or not. She soon finds that her husband is missing and CIA counter-intelligence wants her detained. What follows is a wonderful chase/spy thriller in the same tradition as the Borne films. The action in this film is over the top and not as "realistic" as the Borne films, but Salt is the first franchise that could even be a contender for the Borne films. Angelina's previous action film "Wanted," was crazy, contrived, crap. Not Salt. Evelyn Salt is the ultimate deadly bait ball. Nothing can compare to Inception this year, but Salt should take a notable second place. This film is well done and extra salty.
FOUR - 1/2 OUT OF FIVE STARS