Peppermint Movie Review
Ignorant? Racist? These are things that "nationally accepted" critics have been saying about Peppermint, Jennifer Garner's revenge action-thriller that rivals Death Wish and The Punisher. I personally disagree with these accusations. If they're playing the race card because the gang is Mexican, then I challenge them to consider if they'd be shouting racism if the roles were reversed. If Garner's character had been Mexican and the gang had been white or black, would racism still be the card they use? Maybe, but it wouldn't be toward the gang most likely. I urge you as the viewer to look around at the world we live in. There are gangs everywhere regardless of race. There are white gangs, black gangs, Mexican gangs, Asian gangs....so what's racist exactly? Because a white family was targeted? Wake up, critics. This kind of thing happens every single day. The only difference is, Garner's character was able to get revenge for her husband and child's deaths. Not all shooting survivors get justice. I know several people who are still suffering because of the justice system failing. This film is not ignorant and it is not racist. It shows the world for what it is.
Okay, now that my longer-than-planned rant is over, let's have a look at the film. The story follows Riley, a mom who is having to work extra hours to provide for her daughter Carly. Her husband Chris seemingly works part-time so that he can take care of Carly while Riley's away. On December 21, the day of her daughter's birthday, Riley comes home late from work to find that no one showed up to the birthday party. In an effort to make Carly feel better, Riley and Chris take her to the winter carnival. Little did Riley know, Chris had gotten an offer from his friend to pull a job and steal from the biggest crime lord in town, Diego Garcia. Chris was thinking about it but called to say he was out. It was too late, as it turns out. His friend was already captured and gave up Chris. Diego had him hunted down and, at the carnival, Chris and Carly were gunned down. Riley was the sole survivor, sustaining injuries but nothing fatal. Diego had everyone in his pocket it seems, and tried to have Riley paid off. But hell hath no fury like a mom whose family was murdered. She disappears for 5 years only to return and take revenge on Garcia and his network of criminals.
I found the story to be well-done except for one major plot hole. When Riley returns for vengeance, she is almost like a super soldier. She is an expert marksman, a fantastic fighter, and can use knives like nobody else. It was explained in the film where she learned to fight and one can deduce that the knife-wielding was a result of learning to fight. Even the bomb-making was explained with a blink-and-you'll-miss-it tweet saying she used to be a chemistry teacher. But where exactly did she learn to use military-grade weaponry? How did she know which guns to use, which ammo she needed, etc? One could argue she learned from the internet or found an old war vet who sympathized with her, but nothing was ever for sure revealed about that. I felt that was a missed opportunity. Showing that someone was on her side would have gained her sympathy points but I guess that her family being slain was all the sympathy she needed.
The action was top-notch, some of the best I've seen as far as firearms go. It seemed to be trying to cash-in on sleeper hits like Death Wish and John Wick only instead using a female lead. I didn't have a problem with that at all. Besides, Jennifer Garner needed to release some anger after the stuff she's recently been through. I'd say she succeeded.
There weren't really any twists in the film, save for one towards the end. Some of you might see it coming but I didn't. Maybe it's because I didn't want to believe it was coming even though it was probably obvious from the start.
In conclusion, I enjoyed the film and I'd recommend it to anyone that loves revenge-flicks. If you liked Death Wish, Miss Meadows, John Wick, or Revenge, then you'll like this. I give the film a 3 out of 4.
© 2018 Nathan Jasper