Salt – Take a pinch to enjoy Angelina Jolie’s far-fetched spy thriller

SALT - Angelina Jolie plays a CIA agent suspected of being a Russian spy

Spy movie Salt would probably have turned out as a run-of-the-mill action thriller but for a fortuitous/canny casting switch that put Angelina Jolie in the lead instead of original choice Tom Cruise.

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.

Angelina Jolie stars as Evelyn Salt, a CIA agent accused of being a Russian spy, in the espionage thriller Salt

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.

Enjoy the plot twists when director Philip Noyce and screenwriter Kurt Wimmer spring them. Try not to worry about plausibility but focus instead on the kinetic thrills of the heroine in full flight.

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.

Evelyn, Edwin, Ethan? What’s in a name when you’re Bourne-again? Read more.

Win a copy of Salt on Blu-ray.

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To activate the sound in the trailer: hold your cursor over the screen to reveal the control panel and click on the volume control in the bottom right-hand corner – but you’ll grasp more of the plot than you might perhaps want to know.
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