Cast: Jennifer Garner, John Ortiz, John Gallagher Jr
Director Pierre Morel
Running Time 102 minutes
Rated: MA 15plus
Opens December 13th
Jennifer Garner (“Taken,” “John Wick,” “Atomic Blonde” and “Death Wish,” ) turns up in another vigilante thriller after quite a spell, this time as a mother turned violent after her husband and daughter are gunned down. Garner, handles the demanding physical aspects of her role with tremendous skill, demonstrating her ongoing commitment to her training procedures. In “Peppermint,” her character Riley North takes on those responsible to exact her revenge, carefully stalking everyone who denied her justice. It all starts when the family has trouble making ends meet, leading her husband Chris (Richard Cabra) to consider joining a friend in a plot to rip off a local drug leader, Diego Garcia (Juan Pablo Raba). Although Chris backs out at the last minute, the plan has been discovered and during a visit to an amusement park to celebrate their daughter Carly’s birthday, he and his daughter are brutally gunned down, with Riley seriously injured as well.
Cooperating with two understanding detectives (John Ortiz, John Gallagher Jr.) investigating the case, Riley identifies the gunmen who has distinctive facial tattoos and testifies against them in court even after she receives a bribe offer from the defense attorney. Riley finds the deck is clearly stacked against her, with a corrupt judge dismissing the case. When she becomes out of control and tries to attack the killers, she’s tasered and placed in a mental hospital. She manages to escape and reappears five years on the anniversary of her family’s death to personally deliver the justice that the system failed to act on.
Although we are never told how Riley transforms into a mean killing machine, expert in all sorts of combat and automatic weaponry, she’s begins her revenge against Garcia and his followers, starting with the three men who murdered her family. She proves remarkably adept in her mission, showing no mercy as the body count lurches toward the triple digits. She doesn’t lose her maternal side however, finding time to eradicate crime on Skid Row, defending homeless kids, threatening an alcoholic into cleaning up his act for his sons sake and a number of other good things. There is certainly a good and bad side to this character and the audience is on her side from the beginning to the end. “Peppermint” is a movie that is really best seen in the cinema with a large noisy crowd who will be there to laugh with you at all the bravado. Don’t be surprised if this isn’t the beginning of another franchise.