Jennifer Garner plays Riley North, an low income mom trying to do the best by her family. When her husband turns down an offer to embezzle his employer to solve their money problems, she and her family are brutally shot in a drive-by attack. The sole survivor, she tries to seek justice but when her testimony is discredited, she decides to take matters into her own hands.
… Like Bruce Willis and Liam Neeson before her, she punches harder than expected and soaks up gun shot wounds quicker than Kleenex.
‘Peppermint’ is a film you’ve seen countless times before. A generic revenge story gluing action scenes together, whilst its plot holes leak credibility as faster than Riley’s victims lose blood. That said, strangely this is an action movie where you’d wish there’d been a handful more exposition scenes. With minimal effort its central character could have had a credible backstory but instead the filmmakers try to paper over your disbelief with fast montages and throwaway dialogue.
As Riley, Jennifer Garner’s performance registers highly in terms of the film’s positives. A talent surely deserving of better things, she plays her scenes well, irrespective of the film’s fractured narrative. In many ways, her role is one that countless male actors have played before. Like Bruce Willis and Liam Neeson before her, she punches harder than expected and soaks up gun shot wounds quicker than Kleenex.
So in the end, there’s nothing remarkable here except the fact that it’s a girl dishing out the vengeance – and that fact alone and Jennifer Garner’s commitment – saves it from a savage review. It’s not ‘Atomic Blonde’ in either its ambition or detail but as a companion to ‘The Long Kiss Goodnight’ it could find an forgiving audience. Given its derivative nature and cardboard cut-out villains it’s still a reasonably entertaining flick in terms of a weekend distraction on Netflix or Amazon.
Also better than the lamentable ‘Death Wish’ reboot, ‘Peppermint’ is not as awful as the aggregator sites might have you belive. Whilst on paper, it should play like a female ‘John Wick’, but to get close it’ll have to patch up its haemorrhaging heroine’s credibility. Let’s see.