Peppermint is in theaters on September 7th, 2018.

Going into Peppermint, I figured I was going to see another tone-deaf gun violence movie similar to Bruce Willis’s Death Wish. While I do think the movie did take a bit of an ignorant approach to the world we live in today, there was more to the story than I expected.

Jennifer Garner stars as Riley North, a typical West Coast mom who awakens from a coma to remember that she witnessed the brutal drive-by murder of her husband and daughter at the hands of a ruthless drug gang. After being unable to get justice through a crooked court system, she disappears for 5 years. Suddenly, on the 5 year anniversary of her family’s murders, the 3 men who ran the drive by turn up dead and hung from the Ferris Wheel carnival her family was at…subtle. Jennifer Garner shows back up and is taking names from the people who wronged her. While she solidified her status as a certified bad- ass again, we really don’t learn a lot about how this happened. Apart from the FBI playing a blurry YouTube video of Riley North cage-fighting abroad, we’re supposed to just assume this mainline mom somehow remade herself as a gun-wielding vigilante.

While we get a bit more in-depth into Riley’s motives and understand some of the internal struggle that she faces, there really wasn’t a lot of originality to establish this away from Death Wish or Taken other than casting a female lead. The action scenes were fun, but nothing new. Jennifer Garner established herself as an action hero from her hit show Alias but fell away to the typical rom com or mom-type after doing movies like 13 Going on 30 and Juno. She fought her way back in Peppermint, and I’d love to see her take on grittier action roles like this, but hopefully next time with a more original plot. So if you’re looking for the typical gun-shooting vigilante, action-packed movie where the good guy goes bad but still has morals, then look no further than Peppermint.

Rating: 3.4 out of 5


LaurenLauren (Contributor) is born and raised in South Jersey. When she isn’t yelling at Philly sports teams on the TV, she enjoys seeing the latest action films and true crime documentaries.
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