“Peppermint” is directed by Pierre Morel (Taken, From Paris with Love) and stars Jennifer Garner (Juno, Daredevil), John Gallagher Jr. (Jonah Hex, 10 Cloverfield Lane), and John Ortiz (Silver Linings Playbook, American Gangster) and is about a woman who lost her family five years ago. After all this time, she plans to seek revenge on those who killed said family.
This movie is from the director of “Taken,” which contains my favorite line in movie history. To be more specific, Liam Neeson’s character, Bryan Mills, is giving a monologue, telling a kidnapper to let his daughter go before they face consequences. Here, it’s a pretty similar formula, you have a kid, although in this case you actually have a *kid* and not a teenager like in “Taken.” Also in this movie, the kid does not get captured, she actually gets brutally murdered alongside her father. Not to mention, “Taken” was PG-13 whereas this was rated R, allowing the movie to get away with more on screen. But I can tell you there is something this movie did not in fact get away with, and that is being forgettable, boring, and just plain bad.
I will say, the beginning of the movie was rather intriguing. The buildup until when the daughter gets killed is rather interesting, and even the stuff that happens afterwards was still worth sitting through. I didn’t really feel bored or insulted. Although factors such as predictability, Jennifer Garner in terms of how her character was written, and simply how I didn’t remember this movie all as well as I would have hoped sometime after walking out all contributed to what could simply be referred to as “a piece of crap.” But in all seriousness, Jennifer Garner, while she could have been written worse, she wasn’t written all that well to begin with. Although has nothing to do with her performance.
When it comes to Jennifer Garner as a performer, it’s just spot on, and it’s basically what you want out of an action movie like this. She’s a badass, she’s takes no nonsense whatsoever, and she is always. F*cking. PISSED. Although I will admit, that is also a slight deterioration in this situation because of how some of the writing is in this movie. Imagine if this were a movie about Facebook, no relation to the social network. Whenever someone on Facebook is doing something that may be somewhat questionable, but it is really hard for them to control, Jennifer Garner steps in really angry and just tries to stop them from doing whatever it is they are doing. OK, sure, you can try to stop them, but have you ever thought someone might be going through a hard time? If it’s not hurting anyone, let them continue on, although I wouldn’t jump onto that decision right away, maybe private message that person and just talk to them casually, ask them how they feel. I know this is an action movie that might not really be trying to go for any awards, but actions have consequences.
Did I seriously just quote “Fist Fight?” How is that movie still in my head?
This is what I think contributes to the film’s biggest weakness, the script. Not only is it predictable, but only certain moments are worth remembering and the rest might as well be tossed in the garbage. Not to mention, this movie was marketed as what seems to be a very typical action thriller similar to that of “Taken,” “John Wick,” or even “Deadpool,” all because they are about getting revenge. And while this movie is also kind of serious in the same way that “Taken” may have come off as somewhat serious, it doesn’t seem to have much fun being what it is. I get the summer movie season is coming to a close and the awards season is getting to that point where it is gonna be in full swing, but this feels like a cluster of an Oscar film and a summer movie. It’s not a summer blockbuster, but it’s still something you’d pay matinee price to see, or maybe now that we are in a new age, you’d pay with your AMC A-List perks, just to waste time. Think of a “Bourne” movie that doesn’t necessarily try as hard to be compelling. I say it feels like an Oscar film in ways because you have Jennifer Garner, who must have delivered with full force as far as her performance goes, and the tone just feels very dramatic and serious. In a way, I’d almost take back my “Oscar” statement and call this an action movie that may be meant to go straight to Lifetime! It’s just under two hours, Jennifer Garner seems to be the right age and person to play her character, and it has some occasional cringe!
And speaking of “Taken,” this is from the director of that movie as mentioned earlier. Although when comparing this to “Taken,” if these two movies were my children, and I had to decide which of the two would end up kidnapped, I’d say this one in a heartbeat. This movie feels more on the cliche side, the way the action is shot feels like it has less passion put into it compared to some other action films we’ve gotten throughout this decade. I mean, when you truly think about it, in fact, I don’t think much thinking would be required for this, but whatever. “Taken” would probably be just another action movie had I not admired it for just the way it executed its material. Then it would just be this movie.
Now let me just warn you, we are going to dive into this movie and how it manages to earn its title. They say never to judge a book by its cover. But this is a movie, so those rules, be damned! Plus, this was never based on any existing property so let’s just do whatever the f*ck I please! This movie is called “Peppermint.” And you may be wondering why that title exists. Maybe you think that’s the name or nickname given to the daughter who was killed. It could be a nickname for the killer. Or it just keeps getting mentioned or thrown around during the film. Guess what? None of that’s true! The reason why this film, at least from my assessment of what I’ve seen, is called “Peppermint,” is that there is an instance where just before the daughter dies that she gets ice cream. And what kind does she get?
Well, what the f*ck do YOU think, idiots?
This movie literally shares the name of the ice cream she gets before she dies. Granted there are worse names that could be stated. This movie could be called “John Wick” even though John Wick appears nowhere in the film. But this title almost either sounds like a working title, or a title that was slapped together at the least minute. Some flak could be given towards Dwayne Johnson’s recent film, “Skyscraper” for maybe sounding like a pitch movie, in fact, that’s almost what the title screams at some points. But at least it just sounded like it had things revolving around that title more than “Peppermint” did. I don’t know what title I would end up giving to “Peppermint” at this point if I had the power, but probably not “Peppermint.” Heck, even “Die Family Die!” would be a better title than this! It sounds stupid, but really f*cking intriguing.
Speaking of which, one thing that I found intriguing is the way this movie takes a look at Los Angeles and makes it look like this depressing wasteland. Bums are all over the place, it just seems trashy, and nothing of glory seems to be displayed. When I think of LA, I think of tall buildings, I think of movie stars, I think of culture. This movie gives a giant f*ck you to that and I kind of admire the movie for doing such a thing. I can’t wait for the sequel where they start the movie in New York and they show people asking for money on the street, horns honking everywhere, and creepy Disney character impersonators kidnapping children and their parents!
Guys, in the end, while I don’t think I have much else to say about “Peppermint,” most of what I have to say is not really all that positive. “Peppermint” could have been a fun movie, a compelling movie, or even a good movie. But the thing is that it probably doesn’t know what it wants to be. Is it trying to be an action-packed, made for audiences to go in and chew on popcorn time-waster? Is it trying to be a serious drama that would make you root for the mother? I don’t know. Guys, if you want a good movie about revenge, go watch “John Wick!” Go watch “V For Vendetta!” Not this crap. I’m gonna give “Peppermint” a 3/10. Thanks for reading this review! Tomorrow I’m gonna be going out to the theater to see “The Meg” so expect a review of that very soon, also if content consistency seems to be slower than usual, I should have you know, I’m in college now, so I apologize for any inconvenience this may be causing. However, let me just have you know that my resolution for 2018 is to deliver at least one Scene Before post each week. So I’m not saying this is dying. It’s still a serious commitment, it’s still going on, and I will make sure I deliver whatever content I can whenever I can. I may be doing something for someone else, but I’m also doing something for YOU, my 32 followers. With that being said, be sure to follow this blog if you haven’t already by clicking the follow button and following either with a WordPress account or an email so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “Peppermint?” What did you think about it? Or, what is your favorite movie with Jennifer Garner in it? If you ask me, I gotta go with “Juno.” Let me know about your favorites in the comments! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!