Riley North (Jennifer Garner) lives a quiet, idyllic life until her husband and young daughter are murdered in cold blood. When it becomes clear that a corrupt justice system has failed her, the grieving mother sets out to make things right on her own.
I really like Garner as an actress (13 Going on 30 is one of my all-time faves!) and I also love a good revenge thriller, so it was a no-brainer that Peppermint would be on my watch-list. While I certainly found myself entertained, I must say that the movie isn’t flawless. The plot is fairly unoriginal and several gaps within the story make it difficult to believe everything the movie tries to tells us.
However, it’s Garner’s portrayal that makes Peppermint worth a watch; she stuns in this role from beginning to end. Don’t let the sweet sounding name fool you.
Riley is a powerful woman and I really hope this character isn’t so easily forgotten. She is tough physically and mentally, and I love the fact that while she is a badass, she also has a sense of humanity. Too often we see female characters who have to sacrifice one for the other and I appreciated that Riley wasn’t forced into this outdated mold.
Like many movies in this genre, the drama pushes the action. Without a terrible tragedy occurring, there would be nothing propelling the hero to set out and exact revenge. In the case of Peppermint, the heart and emotion is certainly there. Riley goes from being a wife and mom, to neither of the two in an instant. The murders are unfair and unwarranted. As someone sitting in the audience watching this unfold, it’s hard not to experience some trauma, especially when Garner sells it the way that she does.
I believed everything about the pain her character experiences because she walks us through it in a believable way. However, there is much about this character that puzzles me and it has nothing to do with the performance, and everything to do with the script. For example, Riley works at a bank in the beginning of the movie. Not much is explored about her position there, she could have been a teller or perhaps a loan officer of some kind. Yet, in a short matter of time she is able to wield military grade weapons with the same finesse as Rambo or Natasha Romanoff.
It’s BRIEFLY touched on, yet never really explained how she came to gain these surprising new abilities.
As you can imagine, there are several people on Riley’s hit-list: the thugs who carried out the murders, their drug dealer boss who works for the Cartel, the District Attorney, the presiding judge over the case, etc. While we saw how Riley took some of these men out, others were killed off-camera and we found out about their deaths through conversations other characters had independent of Riley. One of the best aspects of revenge thrillers is seeing the actual revenge am I right?
In that way, Peppermint moves a little too swiftly, glossing over key aspects of the story and assuming the audience will buy-in easily.
Overall, it’s pretty entertaining and not the worst way to spend a couple hours of your day! If you like seeing action and revenge on the big screen, I highly recommend a watch.
Peppermint is directed by Pierre Morel (Taken) and the script comes from Chad St. John (London Has Fallen). It stars Golden Globe-winner Jennifer Garner, David Gallagher Jr., Juan Pablo Raba, Annie Ilonzeh, Method Man, Tyson Ritter and John Ortiz. It’s currently in theaters now!
I mentioned a similar movie on my blog earlier this year in January Favorites, when I shared brief thoughts on The Foreigner starring Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan. If you liked that, you’ll probably enjoy Peppermint as well.
What movies are on your must-see list for 2018? Have any recommendations for me? Let me know in the comments down below!