Angelina Jolie confirms her status as action-heroine supreme in the sinewy thriller Salt.
Evelyn Salt (Jolie) is a respected high-ranking CIA agent… until a defecting Russian operative declares that she's a Russian mole in deep cover, launching her on the most delicious chase sequence since the Bourne movies.
When the film's over you'll realize the motivations for much of what happened didn't make much sense, but while the movie's going on the pell-mell pace will brush such concerns from your mind.
Director Phillip Noyce (Patriot Games, Dead Calm) has a gift for staging action sequences you can actually follow moment to moment, which is infinitely more engaging than frenzied editing that blurs everything into cattle-prod jolts--the movie's first third is top-notch orchestration.
Jolie's star magnetism provides the cool, calm axis around which everything else revolves; the sturdy supporting performances of Liev Schreiber (The Manchurian Candidate) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (Inside Man, Dirty Pretty Things) give enough heft to the plot to keep you from questioning anything.
Salt is fantastic entertainment, a skillfully made mechanism with enough grace notes to let it breathe and catch you by surprise.