Of course, it would have been much more of a problem if the film had had a male lead, as Entertainment Weekly said it was originally set to have. The fact that the lead in the finished product is a woman is a boost, convincing the audience that the idea is different. This is furthered in the "tables-are-turned" aspect from the trailer (that Owen Gleiberman and others mentioned), where Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie, somewhat of a good choice, though not entirely original) is told by the man she is (as said before) interrogating that she is (as Owen Gleiberman et al. said) "a Russian spy" and (as they say in the film and I believe as critics said) "an immediate threat" to kill the Russian president, which sets off the alarms of her cohorts and in the building in which she is holding the questioning. This was the aspect that made me and probably countless others watch the film. At least I expected that this was going to start the film off, as it could have and should have, but instead, we get a very dull beginning to establish the characters, especially Salt and her husband Mike (August Diehl).
To go back to the "real" start of the movie (that really should have been the start), surprises only truly are satisfying upon their arrival and shortly afterwards. After Evelyn Salt manages her way out of her confines, as she is fated to do, the film shows definite signs of its predecessors in the "track-down" genre, as Salt, as Ebert said, continues to "escape from, or break into, one impenetrable stronghold after another." It should be more entertaining than it is, especially in the esteemed "truck sequence," which has been given a profile in Entertainment Weekly, but that failed to really to stimulate me as it should have (i.e. beyond interestingly done shots and more into actual (as said before by critics) "involvement"). I did close my mind up a little bit, but still.
The film's plot within the plot really is (as said before) "complicated," and supposedly involves killing (in some capacity) both the American and Russian presidents (I know I'm somewhat wrong about this, but I don't really want to go back and watch the film again to get the facts straight). It involves a lot of double-crossing (others mentioned "satisfying twists," but only one or two are worth note) and friendships back through the years. It also features Salt shifting her personality sometimes into the psychotic and driven range, which I think is interesting. I'll do as Ebert did (not only as a way to not reveal spoilers, but to also try to cover my ignorance of the plot that I should have paid more attention to) and (as he said) "not say much more than that." As Ebert said, the film has some interesting shots in the derivative camerawork by Robert Elswit, but that sort of thing doesn't do much more than occasionally stimulate when there's a score like there is in this film (that makes you even more recall "track-down" movies). "Salt" is not all bad (if you, as said before, "follow it along," probably it would be more rewarding), but it's not indelible and, at least for me, not very enjoyable. C