Movie Review - Salt

I don't get out to a lot of first-run movies anymore, but my wife managed to free up a matinée night last night.  The pickings were slim, but we decided to go see the new Angelina Jolie flick, Salt, and I'm glad we did.

Jolie stars as Evelyn Salt, a seemingly ordinary CIA field op/analyst with an expertise in Russia.  She has spent some time as an unwilling guest of North Korea, but now works at a front company in Washington, and is happily married to an eminent arachnologist.  Things start to unravel when a former Russian government official shows up as a "walk-in" at her office, offering to give the CIA some information on an intended assassination.

The official - Orlov - details a plan of Russian sleeper agents, raised as children to blend into American culture, and wait for decades until "Day X" - the day they will strike at the heart of America.  Orlov identifies Salt as one of the agents, and thus begins an action-adventure thriller that would do The Bourne Ultimatum proud.

The film keeps the viewer on the edge of their seat throughout, wondering what will happen next, and wondering who's allegiance lie where.  You're never really sure who the bad guy is, or who the good guys are. The plot may be somewhat formulaic, but director Phillip Noyce (Patriot Games, Catch a Fire) pulls it off nicely.

As expected, there is plenty of violence in this film.  It seems, however, that Salt doesn't actually kill any of the good guys, although she does serious damage to a lot of people.  Others in the film aren't that merciful.  There is a torture scene early in the film that is pretty brutal, and the Russians seem to have no problem killing.  It is also their intent to start a "holy war" that will destroy America.  

I'd suggest leaving the kids at home when watching this.  There's enough language and violence for me to think it would be inappropriate, and the PG-13 rating is generous.  There's not a lot of sex, and the film will likely survive fairly uncut to television.  For adults, though, this is an entertaining film, and pretty moderate for those who enjoy the action-adventure genre.  Just settle yourself in; you won't want to leave for popcorn during the film.


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