Peppermint review by Bobby Blakey
Most have gotten used to seeing Jennifer Garner in roles that focus on romance or family drama, but before she transitioned to the big screen she was bringing the action on her hit TV series Alias for 5 seasons. Now she is returning to the world of action for her latest film Peppermint co-starring Richard Cabral, John Ortiz, John Gallagher Jr., Juan Pablo Raba, and Method Man, but does it offer up the vengeance that the trailer promises or will it fail to exact its revenge?
Peppermint follows Riley North who awakens from a coma after her husband and daughter are killed in a brutal attack on the family. When the system frustratingly shields the murderers from justice, Riley sets out to transform herself from citizen to urban guerilla. Channeling her frustration into personal motivation, she spends years in hiding honing her mind, body and spirit to become an unstoppable force – eluding the underworld, the LAPD and the FBI- as she methodically delivers her personal brand of justice. I have to admit up front that I am not a Jennifer Garner fan at all, but did think the trailer had promise. While I did have numerous issues with this film it does manage to offer up some good action and Garner does a decent job.
Giving her character ample time between the incident and time to become this avenging angel of sorts made so much more sense for this to work. Sadly they give us nothing about her training during her 5 year absence outside of a throw away moment talking about her doing some MMA fighting. My issue with that is that she did more shooting than anything else and we never get to see where she trained with any weapon or explosive. The mystery they were trying to build for her and the way it started the film I felt hindered what could have been a much stronger revenge action flick. There is some flash back story telling elements here that just weren’t overly necessary for this film to work. I could have let this go, but there are so many underdeveloped characters it felt like they were just trying to get to the action, but didn’t go all in as much as I had hoped.
Make no mistake the action that is here works great and is well done. Garner holds her own in that department as well as brings a good range of emotions for you to buy into her pain and obsession. The action sequences that we do get are pretty intense at times with an array of bloods and blood flying freely in the best possible way, but it’s what we don’t see that kind of bothered me. There are specific characters that are very important to the vengeance she is wanting to enact and we don’t even get to see this happen. Instead they are explained away in simple dialogue and left me feeling cheated since it was made obvious that this people were involved early on.
Despite the films issues it does manage to entertain and bring the pain with some great action and a lot of potential. It has an old school feel to it that you will no doubt feel you have seen this same movie numerous times, but in a fun way. I will say I enjoyed Garner in the role and kind of hope it does well enough to maybe get another film with this character and maybe we can go back and see all that training we missed in the 5 year off the grid.
This release not only includes the film but also commentary and a featurette taking you behind bringing this film to the big screen. Join her fight for vengeance with Peppermint available now on Digital, Blu-ray and DVD from Universal Home Entertainment.