The tagline for “Salt” poses the question, “Who is Salt?” and after sitting through the incredibly fast-paced spy thriller, I can honestly say that I have no idea who this Salt chick is really. I can say that the movie that is named for her is riddled with plot holes but, when the heroine is as hot and adept at avoiding those holes as Angelina Jolie is, I don’t think it really matters.
When I see a Jolie action film, I’m not looking for anything particularly challenging in terms of depth. This bodes well for “Salt” as what little depth director Philip Noyce tries to infuse into the film is shaky at best. Jolie is Evelyn Salt, a CIA operative who has done incredible things for her country in her time with the agency. As to what country’s interests she actually serves, well, her loyalties are a little gray there. When a Russian defector walks into the CIA building and announces that a Russian operative named Evelyn Salt is going to kill the Russian president, her credibility is shot despite her achievements. She couldn’t possibly be a Russian spy, right? Wrong. She could actually be part of a decades-old Russian project that trained spies as children and then implanted them into the United States to lie dormant until the time came years later for them to do what they were always programmed to do. Like I said earlier, as long as Jolie is running around, being her bad-ass, awesome self and narrowly avoiding defeat while she jumps from one moving vehicle to the next, I can accept a plot as insipid as this one.
Jolie makes “Salt”. She doesn’t make it into any sort of masterpiece but her commitment to the character, from the numerous stunts she is reported to carry out herself to her intoxicating Russian accent, elevates what would have certainly been a tired rehash of the “Bourne” films into a similar franchise for the ladies.
Review by Joseph Bélanger