Director: Phillip Noyce, Columbia Pictures, Rated M, 100 mins
Australian director Phillip Noyce brings to the big screen the thoroughly entertaining and fast-paced spy thriller Salt which is reminiscent of the ‘roller coaster’ action seen in The Bourne movies.
Noyce, who is noted for such action flicks as Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger, teams up again with academy award winning actress Angelina Jolie (appearing in Noyce’s earlier thriller, The Bone Collector) playing CIA agent Evelyn Salt, accused of being a Russian ‘sleeper’ spy.
As highlighted in the opening scenes, Salt is preparing to celebrate her wedding anniversary but finds herself suddenly being asked by her boss Ted Winter (Liev Schreiber from Defiance) to interrogate a Russian defector named Vassily Orlov (Daniel Olbrychski).
With her fellow agents watching, Orlov tells Salt of how hundreds of Russian children were secretly smuggled into the U.S. during the Cold War where they served as sleeper agents until such time as they might be activated.
Orlov explains that one of these sleeper agents is Evelyn Salt and that her assignment is to assassinate the Russian President who is on a visit to the U.S. attending the Vice-President’s funeral.
While rejecting the accusation Salt stages an amazing escape from her CIA colleagues-fleeing in the hope of proving her innocence and finding her husband Mike (August Diehl), who has mysteriously disappeared.
Thus begins a thrilling cat and mouse chase involving both Salt and Orlov (who has also escaped from custody) and led by key security agent Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor from 2012).
Noyce has characteristically ensured that there are plenty of twists and turns in his clever plot written by Kurt Wimmer (‘Street Kings’).
Even though some of the action scenes are quite unbelievable (such as Jolie jumping off a bridge onto a fast moving truck), it is a movie that is lots of fun to watch as Noyce keeps the action constantly moving and Jolie delivers a high octane performance.
Once again, Noyce has demonstrated what a fine director he is with this exhilarating spy thriller, making sure that it is certainly worth more than a pinch of salt and alluding to another action filled sequel.
VIC'S VERDICT: 4 Rubber Stamps
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