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"Salt" Review

Is there another actress that combines Angelina Jolie's unreal beauty, genuine acting chops, AND can plausibly kick as much ass - and get her ass kicked - like she does? While there are many who can fill in two of the three boxes, I can't think of anyone who turns the hat trick like AJ.*** Finally back on screen for the first time in 18 months since her Oscar-nominated turn in Changeling, she's got a gun back in her hands, kicking muy booty as Salt.

As the trailers and ads tell you, she's a deep cover CIA agent whom a random Russian walks in and names as a Russian spy. Immediately suspected by counter-intelligence agent Chiwetel Ejiofor, especially when she takes off on the run, the chase is on to find out what's behind this accusation and the plot to kill the Russian President. What isn't hinted at in the trailers and I hate to even risk spoiling is what happens and who the real good and bad guys may or may not be. Suffice to say it gets really twisty and turny as director Phillip Noyce (who directed Jolie in 1999's The Bone Collector) keeps the proceedings moving at a rapid pace so that you won't have time to ponder the big plot "huh?" points until you're in the car going home.

By the time you're attuned to sniffing red herrings, you'll probably see the final twists coming, but when it's Angelina Jolie kicking ass and not bothering to get names, who cares? (I have to say that even under winter coats, she's still clearly too damn thin like she was in Wanted. Eat something, Angie!!! Get back to your Mr. & Mrs. Smith body, PLEASE!!!) With an ending clearly intended to set up a sequel - AJ as a female Bourne? Yes, please! - I can say that I certainly wouldn't mind having some more Salt in my diet.*

Score: 9/10. Catch a matinee.

False Advertising Alert: The shot toward the end of her humping someone in her underwear isn't in the movie. DAMMIT!!!

* Official Entry for the Gene Shalit Memorial** Horrible Puns in Reviews Contest.
** He's not dead; it just sounds better as a contest name.
*** A few months later, while watching some Brandon Flowers (singer from The Killers) video, I realized that Charlize Theron qualifies.


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