High speed chases? Check. Shoot-outs and assassination attempts? Check. A gorgeous leading lady who likes her stunts? Check. So is 'Salt' all it's cracked up to be?

CIA agent Evelyn Salt (Jolie) is about to clock off for the evening when she is summoned to conduct an interview with a Russian defector (Olbrychski). It's all very matter-of-fact - get the job done and get out of there to celebrate her wedding anniversary - until the defector names her as the Russian spy who is intent on executing the KA programme, which involves assassinating the Russian president, followed by the American president. Salt dismisses the accusation as ludicrous but her CIA colleagues, with the exception of her partner Ted Winter (Schreiber), aren't so sure.

With suspicions growing, Salt decides there's only one thing for it and goes on the run, risking her own life, her husband's and pretty much anyone else's who comes into contact with her. With most of the CIA on her tail, there are action sequences, vehicle pursuits and gun battles aplenty here. All the while, Salt's colleagues are questioning her motives in hitting the road. If she's innocent, like she says she is, then why go on the run? Surely the truth will out at some stage?

Jolie is credible as the leading action lady here, bringing both charm and excitement to her character. Sure, the story is quite over-the-top but there's enough intrigue and twists and turns to keep you interested and, importantly, the action isn't dragged out either. There are a few disappointments along the way in terms of aesthetics (a few decent wigs certainly wouldn't have gone a miss and the stunts are a little too ambitious to fully work), but these aren't dealbreakers and shouldn't take away from your enjoyment of the movie too much.

While this isn't likely to do down in history as one of the great spy thrillers, it's worth a watch all the same.

Linda McGee

Listen to the 'Framerate' review of 'Salt' from RTÉ Choice.