Starring Jennifer Garner, John Gallagher Jr., John Ortiz, Method Man, Juan Pablo Raba
You’ve seen this movie before. Remember when it was called “The Brave One” and starred Jodie Foster? That film took the female vigilante thriller in a realistic and thought- provoking direction. I mean, it was directed by Neil Jordan after all. Jennifer Garner seems like a nice person. Her recent Instagram stories trying to sell healthy baby food at Kroger were adorable. America loves the way she stands by her husband Ben Affleck as he falls apart. However, when it comes to acting, Garner isn’t a stand out. Her filmography reads like a rotating bargain DVD collection at 7-11. In “Peppermint” there is little time for a performance, between all the action and killing. French director Pierre Morel understands Americans love to watch violence in any form on film. With little effort and no imagination, he throws this story out there despite there being a dozen others just like it.
Following the traumatizing loss of her family, girl scout mom Riley North (Garner) loses her patience and hope following a sham court preceding that allows known gang members back on the streets of Los Angeles. North traveled the world for five years gaining the stamina, experience and pent up vengeance to return and take out everyone responsible for her loss. North becomes a hero for the city as gang members and corrupt political officials keep turning up dead. North won’t stop until she gets the person who ordered the hit on her husband and little girl.
It just lacks a creative screenplay, cinematic sensibility or inventive characters.
It’s a “Kill Bill” situation, or in this story, kill Diego. It just lacks a creative screenplay, cinematic sensibility or inventive characters. “Peppermint” encourages the audience to cheer for the kill, provoking laughter when North shoots someone in the face. Violence is celebrated here in a script that ensures you can’t argue with what she is doing, because after all, these people are scum and deserve it. The reason Garner doesn’t give a good performance is because Riley North isn’t afforded one. The grieving process isn’t explored, her adventure to become this fighting machine is never shown, in fact it’s supporting characters Gallagher and Ortiz that do most of the talking.
If you have seen one Liam Neeson revenge film, you have seen them all. “Peppermint” is hollow and flavorless, despite providing a leading actress action flick which are rarer than they should be. It’s generic motivation to simply fill whatever violent spot opened up this weekend isn’t enough to earn respect or a good grade. It’s not a boring film, there is something about watching Garner, who is for all intents and purposes the ideal soccer mom gone rogue, kill some bad dudes, but this is nothing new. The filmmakers fail to deliver something you can’t find in a “Tomb Raider” movie or any generic female action flick.
Can someone give Jennifer Garner a web series or a talk show, where her talents can be more appreciated.