In Salt we must answer the question: is Evelyn Salt a CIA operative or a Russian sleeper agent planted in the U.S. years earlier?
Whether she is or isn't is really a moot point, as this films twists and turns more than a rattle snake hanging by its tail in a stiff Santa Clarita wind.
We first meet Salt (Angelina Jolie) when she is captured by North Koreans and interrogated. An American spy's fate seems to be her destiny until she is rescued by her CIA mentor Ted Winter (Liev Schreiber) in a prisoner exchange pushed for by Salt's gallant, arachnid loving hubby Mike (August Diehl).
Later, an old Russian KGBer, Orlov (Daniel Olbrychski), comes into CIA headquarters claiming to know the identity of a Russian sleeper agent. During the interrogation Salt conducts on Orlov, he reveals the name of said agent to be Evelyn Salt!
Cue the music swell, lots of horns, not too basey. Okay, you are now caught up on the premise in case you missed the movie's trailer or commercials.
Salt is enjoyable, as the film is a well done spy thriller with its feet planted firmly in the unreality of one person being able to slaughter a dozen other (supposedly trained) agents with nary a scratch, whilst not even breaking a sweat (or in Jolie's case, a nail)!
The acting here is less about the craft and more about the genre so don't blame Jolie, take umbrage at Schreiber, or even chastise Olbrychski for delivering performances that make mannequins look passionate by comparison.
Basically a set up for another Angelina Jolie action franchise (sort of a Lara Croft: Spy Raider), Salt has some pretty good punch, and might spawn even better movies in its sequels. Think of it as a femme version of the Bourne Identity with a bit of the Borscht belt flavor.
Not a roller coaster by any stretch, still fasten your seat belts, the ride's not so bad, you might even be sorry when it's over.