Jenn Rohm Reviews "Peppermint"
Think about this: you have worked hard to make a life for yourself with a great family, but it is taken away in the blink of an eye. You rely on the justice system to do what it is supposed to do, but those who are supposed to be your advocates to make the guilty pay do not. In this situation, it seems like revenge is the only option. The director of “Taken” and “From Paris With Love” Pierre Morel teams up with “London Has Fallen” writer Chad St. John looks at this with the latest vehicle from Jennifer Garner in “Peppermint”.
Garner is Riley North, a family woman whose family is gunned down in a drive-by shooting on her daughter’s birthday by members of a drug cartel. When the killers seem to get away scot free (the cartel is everywhere, you see), North takes it upon herself to deliver vigilante justice where they system has failed her.
Given the role in “Alias” that really put Garner on the map, it would be very easy to compare this to her portrayal of Sydney Bristow. However, Riley North is a different breed as a woman who is simply hurting so badly that nothing will get in her way in contrast to Bristow, who still becomes heroic from tragedy but for different reasons and motivations. Her performance shows on multiple fronts that she knows how to sell this type of character, especially shown in fight scenes that carry a high level of realism in a character that is not as skilled as we know she is as an actor in a full-on action film that has some of the best and brightest fight scenes I have seen. While not everything is perfect, it makes the realism sink in that much more than the superhero style of fighting that has become so popular.
Morel and St. John have brought a film that doesn’t bring the same cliché tale shown over and over again of the “damsel in distress”. This is a story of a strong woman when the system fails her, and it is good to see Hollywood not downplaying a female character being strong enough to do what needs to be done for herself in the name of her family. There is obviously a lot of violence, a bit of blood, and adult themes, but none of it is gratuitous, so this would make a great date movie that can be caught at a matinee or twilight showing.