Salt ***1/2

salt

Now this is a summer action thriller.  Break neck pace, death defying stunts and action scenes, no computer generated chaos all tightly directed by a veteran director. 

When this movie was originally being put together the filmmakers had a male lead in mind.  When Angelina Jolie signed on board the script was rewritten for a female lead.  After seeing the film I can’t even imagine it with anybody else in the main role.  Jolie is superb from start to finish.  There are simply not enough strong female action heroes in fact there are few that are willing to try.  Jolie is the best there is.  Her and maybe Uma Thurman could pull this off this well. 

To describe the plot would take too long and I’m not even sure I understood the whole thing anyway.  I will say that Jolie plays Salt, a CIA agent who is accused of being a Russian Spy.  This results in her going on the run from the authorities resulting in many chases sequences which were all first rate.  If you think you have the film figured out at this point then think again. 

But the plot is not really the point in this kind of movie.  It is about the thriller chase scenes and the performance by Jolie.  Her character is expertly trained in combat, explosives and covert ops.  Everything she does here is borrowed from any spy movie you can think of but it is all made fresh and exciting by director Phillip Noyce.  Noyce has a lot of experience with this type of film having directed two Jack Ryan movies and an adaptation of “The Saint”.

This summer started out with a deafening thud but has slowly rebounded with pictures like “Knight And Day” and Inception”.  Now comes “Salt”, which shows that some directors still have style and know how to make a great action picture. 

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