Salt, Phillip Noyce, 100 mins, (12A)
Starring Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber
We've had Bond. We've had Bourne. Now we have... Salt.
This is the name of Angelina Jolie's CIA operative who's survived torture in a North Korean dungeon, but is then accused of being a Soviet sleeper agent on a mission to kill the US President and precipitate World War Three. Can this be? The plot of Phillip Noyce's spy thriller is continually and unutterably absurd, yet for the first hour, when Salt goes on the run from the Agency, packs a fair few thrills. The stunts alone are Bourne-again standard: escaping from a sealed building by means of a home-made rocket-launcher, jumping off an overpass and landing on the roof of a passing tanker, then jumping off that to catch a truck going the other way. Sprained ankle? Fractured elbow? Salt doesn't break so much as a sweat. Later in the film she pursues a descending elevator down the shaft, leaping from one ledge to another without the aid of rope, crampon, anything. Even her switches of disguise defy explanation: she strolls away from one calamitous car-wreck and pops up next scene in a fetching fur hat-and-stole combo, looking like Fendi's autumn catalogue cover. How? While Jolie proceeds without a scratch, I found myself nursing a bad case of whiplash after two wild plot swerves – don't say you weren't warned.