Director: Pierre Morel
Starring: Jennifer Garner, John Ortiz, John Gallagher Jr., Juan Pablo Raba, Tyson Ritter
What an awful looking poster.
That’s that out of the way. Taken and…The Gunman (ew) director Pierre Morel delivers us Peppermint, an action revenge flick that is rather similar to most of his other works – so if From Paris with Love is your kind of thing, buckle up. I was kind of hoping for an in-depth documentary about mentha piperita and the joys of its fresh taste, and by the end of the movie, I really would have preferred that.
After seeing her husband and ten-year-old daughter gunned down by goons of powerful drug lord, Diego Garcia (Raba), struggling banker Riley North (Garner) goes into hiding for five years before re-emerging to seek bloody vengeance on those responsible for her pain and loss.
You can probably guess how the story unfolds.
If you’ve seen one revenge flick, nowadays it seems as if you’ve seen them all. Peppermint chugs along checking off all the boxes – tragedy bestows a normal person with superpowers, violence, explosions, a bit of hardship, near misses before a final face-off with the big bad. These kinds of movies can be formulaic and still very good (John Wick, Kill Bill) but when they are as by-numbers at this, they just become a slog.
Sneering and snarling her way through the movie, Jennifer Garner is at best having a lot of fun kicking everyone’s arse, at worst, she is nothing more than just a generic action hero – surviving impossible odds against villains far more capable simply by cutting off her hair. Basic bad guys and cardboard cut-out cops smudge through every scene and it’s all very bland.
The actions scenes are well-choreographed for the most part – it really would be criminal if they weren’t – and there’s plenty of bloodshed to go with the big old body count but very quickly every fight scene starts to look and feel the same, including the ubiquitous ‘massively outnumbered’ shootout. To go with the gloomy tone of Peppermint, the cinematography and visuals are dripping in grey and depression, it’s not an interesting movie to look at.
Fans of Morel’s previous flicks may enjoy this and if you really just want to pass ninety-minutes or so, Peppermint might quench your boredom – though, that’s a big might. Generic, unenjoyable and instantly forgettable, Peppermint isn’t just a poor title, it’s a poor movie.
September 26th 2018