As in Wanted, Angelina Jolie’s fashion model looks and steely fierceness make her a riveting center of action attention in Salt. And like that prior summer effort, her latest is an underwhelming vehicle for her talents, an espionage-tinged chase film in which her CIA agent Evelyn Salt is accused by a former Soviet bigwig-turned-defector (Daniel Olbrychski) of being a deep-cover Russian spy intent on murdering the Ruskie president in an effort to spark nuclear war. Professing her innocence and determined to save the German husband (Mike Krause) she believes will be targeted because of this accusation, Salt goes on the run from her former American comrade (Live Schreiber) as well as a resolute agent (Chiwetel Ejiofor) hot on her trail. For a time, director Philip Noyce adequately laces his breakneck pursuit sequences – including one involving multiple jumps onto the roofs of moving semi trucks – with both frenzied anxiety and tantalizing mystery over whether Salt is a patriot or traitor. Alas, what’s mildly engaging in the moment dissipates almost immediately once it’s done, as Salt’s centerpieces are assuredly helmed but lacking in imagination, and once Salt’s identity is revealed, the film (and its preordained third-act double-twists) loses whatever vivacity it originally had. From innocent start to lethal, propel-off-walls-to-punch-adversaries finish, Jolie’s sultry ice-queen badass routine remains magnetic, but it deserves better than this passable 24-derivative thriller.