Peppermint - 2018
Director(s): Pierre Morel
Writer(s): Chad St. John
Cinematography by: Larry Blanford
Editor(s): Josh Crockett
Cast: Jennifer Garner, John Gallagher Jr., John Ortiz, Juan Pablo Raba and Annie Ilonzeh
This is a stereotypical revenge movie and one that, if you saw the trailer, is not very good despite having a committed performance from its lead Jennifer Garner. So, walking into this movie I fully knew that I wasn’t going to enjoy this movie, but I did my best to take out any pre-conceived ideas I had cooked up in my head and trie to enjoy my time. Because I truly love movies and it’s not just a catchy website title. And after watching this movie I can say that I’m pleasantly surprised at how truly bad this movie ended up being. Let’s talk about it.
The story centers around Riley North (Garner), a mother who lost both her husband and her daughter in a drive-by shooting. During trial, she quickly finds out that there won’t be no justice through the legal system and she needs to take matters into her own hands. Look, if you’ve seen a revenge thriller you have seen most of them. The ones that stand-out either subvert the tropes established in the genre or add other creative elements from outside genres, like this year’s Upgrade. This movie does neither, and doesn’t even add a twist or a big reveal in the process to justify us sitting in the theater waiting for someone to get murdered by our “hero”. Garner clearly was all on board for the role; sadly the writer and director fell asleep on the wheel.
Also, to say that this movie is problematic, especially in this political and social climate, is the understatement of the year. This is essentially a gun-filled violence-fever-dream of a white woman killing off stereotypical Mexican gangbangers that are pulled straight-out of a 1980’s B-action movie. All that was missing was the terrorist from Russia, the terrorist from Afghanistan and the ninja assassin and we would’ve had Lazy Writing Bingo.
What about the direction and editing? I ask myself as I try to stay awake trying to remember this movie. Well, this was a choppy, grey mess with weird camera placement that employs, on countless times, speed-up effects that make your eyes hurt. I’m guessing director Pierre Morel wanted to give this movie a unique look and feel but it just weirdly reminded me of Dog the Bounty Hunter, but with worse fight scenes.
Look, I hate to be this harsh towards a movie, but I just kept staring at the screen, baffled that I made a conscious decision to pay for a ticket and sit in a room till this revenge porn ended. But I can’t lie and this movie tested my ability to not fall asleep in a theater. Don’t watch this. I swear I love movies.
Peppermint is currently playing in theaters. Hard pass.
If you like this review let me know in the comment section down below. Subscribe to my newsletter so you are always up to date with all my reviews. Also, follow me over at Twitter (@yILovemovies) or over on Facebook if you want to have a conversation about movies.