Casting a lithe Jolie as the film’s protagonist stops Salt from being a Bourne knock-off or a Mission: Impossible reboot and gives the tired espionage genre a novel twist. Jolie proves just as tough, agile and resourceful as her male counterparts, but amid all the bullet-dodging, vehicle-leaping and hand-to-hand combat you get a sense of her vulnerability too.
If Jolie delivers something new, then the plot is definitely old, a throwback to the good old days of the Cold War when Hollywood could always turn to the Soviet Union to provide its villains – with no fear of alienating a potentially valuable cinema-going demographic.
It’s best not to know too much about the story. Suffice to say that Jolie’s Evelyn Salt is a CIA agent who has to go on the run after a defector accuses her of being a Russian spy.
With Jolie in charge, this is very much Wham bam, thank you ma’am. But Salt’s makers are clearly hoping the film doesn’t prove to be just a one-night stand – the open ending sets things up for a sequel… or a franchise.
Released on Blu-ray & DVD on 13th December.