Revenge/thrillers have essentially become a category in and of itself. We come to feel for the main character as they are on a quest to seek out vengeance to satisfy an inner need for justice. Peppermint is the newest of this genre and this time its Jennifer Garner who steps into place to right some wrongs. The direction from Pierre Morrel (Taken) is practically identical to the Liam Neeson thriller, yet the script by Chad St. John (London Has Fallen) features bad writing, numerous plot holes and a story that will probably be remembered as one of the most forgettable films of 2018.
Riley North (Garner) is a mother who has a pretty daughter named Carly (Cailey Fleming) and a mechanic husband named Mikey (Chris Johnson). Their life in Los Angeles seems nice but it isn’t long before disaster strikes. Being the only survivor of a drive-by shooting, Riley is devastated at the loss of her family. It’s rather shocking that the film discards her family so quickly, almost as if we’re not meant to remember these characters in the first place. The suspects are caught but the case is dismissed following a ruling from a judge. Riley is pissed and wants justice badly. The courtroom scene is actually one of the best moments where Garner displays some really great acting.
For the remainder of the film we see Riley hunt, track and murder numerous individuals who are connected to the people who murdered her family. She kills the gang members who actually pulled the trigger, not to mention the District Attorney, the defense lawyer and even the presiding judge! Fast-forward five years later of course and the film can’t even explain where she got her “particular set of skills”. Watching this reminded me of a really good thriller called Law Abiding Citizen. While Peppermint is nowhere as clever it borrows plot points and ideas from that film as well as countless others.
The action is the highlight of the film and the only thing that was really marketed as well. I can’t even count how many promos I’ve seen for this movie and here I was expecting some really good moments. This movie is devoid of them. The action is cut so fast where literally every action moment there’s a cut. Its dizzying, confusing and almost gave me a headache. The film is also too cynical. Within five years’ time, this nice suburban mother of one and wife turns into a brutal bloodthirsty killer? She must be the Terminator, because she gets shot, sliced, punched, kicked and nearly blown up and still survives!
I think the original idea must’ve been replaced by this final product. Garner is a splendid actress and all her talents are wasted on this. It’s ugly, trashy and features a character that I couldn’t identify with or even support. Sure, the social media is in full support, but not me. By the time the film ended, I was so excited to have escape this experience. And, guess what, there are no consequences to her actions! Imagine that! The LAPD isn’t even seen doing patrol runs. Where are all the cops in L.A.!? Oh yeah, they’re investigating the murders of gang and cartels.
Verdict 0 out of 5
Peppermint is cynical, devoid of thrills or decent filming of action and has numerous plot holes that any average movie-goer will spot and scratch their heads. The title itself is almost so bad its hilarious not to mention the terrible writing as well. Garner is a great actress and she’s trapped in a movie that has no soul, no style and definitely no purpose. It’s almost as if someone watched the original Death Wish and wondered if Charles Bronson was replaced by a woman. Peppermint fails as a thriller, a quality action film and I’ll bet you anything that nobody will remember this once the new year arrives. Peppermint is a perfect example of a generic idea that somehow turned even worse. It’s sad to see Jennifer Garner be involved in something so vile.