Peppermint - Billiam's Movie Night

Sunday 3 November 2019

We all loved Taken. We also loved John Wick. A month before that, we loved The Equalizer. Before those films, certain cinephiles had the Vengeance trilogy by South Korean director Park Chan-wook. That trilogy comprised of Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Lady Vengeance, and the infamous Oldboy. I also can’t ignore movies like Man on Fire, and Kill Bill vol 1 and 2. Revenge has always been a popular theme for movies but now it seems like Hollywood has taken note. John Wick and The Equalizer have become multi-film series and Wick is even getting a TV show on Stars. With all that happening there’s no better time to take advantage of this winning formula. That’s exactly what Peppermint did. So did this formula work for Jennifer Garner and director Pierre Morel? Here’s my review.
If you listen to Future Flicks you’ll know that this was the pick of the week. This was the movie that beat out a film in the Conjuring-Verse, something I never thought would happen. Don’t misunderstand. I don’t think The Conjuring movies are the end all beat all of film. It’s just that they usually pick slow weeks to come out. But this week they had a bad ass Jennifer Garner to contend with. I’ve been excited for this movie since I saw the first trailer. I love revenge style movies and Peppermint delivers everything you’d expect.
I hate critics. Yes, I know, I review movies, thus I’m a critic. But as many of you know, I don’t like being compared to those asinine troglodytes. They’re out of touch with what the majority of people think and once in a while they do get it right and then puff out their chests like a pigeon with breast implants like they’re big sh*t.  Take a look at this film. It’s “certified rotten” by the ass hats at Rotten Tomatoes but has an audience score of 82%. Even Metacritic has a huge discrepancy. Why do I bring this up? Because I side with the audience. I side with they everyday person who just wants to see a fun movie and that’s exactly what this is.
If you don’t know, let me give you a brief rundown of the plot. Peppermint is about a woman who looses her daughter and husband to a drive-by shooting. She too gets hit but manages to survive. She see’s enough to be able to testify, but the problem is that the gang members are protected by a very powerful and very rich cartel. The cartel wins because they pay off the right people and Riley North (Garner) disappears. Five years later, on the anniversary of her family’s murder., she comes back to seek revenge.
This is a basic plot. That’s something I agree with the critics on. This isn’t some thought provoking film. This isn’t a movie you go to some indie theater with the worlds most expensive and organic snacks to watch. You go to a huge theater with a huge screen to watch people who deserve it get killed for an hour and forty-two minutes. Awesome, right? Peppermint doesn’t do anything special. It doesn’t do anything surprising. But it did deliver a solid action flick.
The acting from Garner was exceptional. She’s always been an unsung talent. Box office bombs like Electra didn’t help her career at all nor did the straight to video worthy Christian feel good movie Miracles from Heaven. Hopefully this film will help people remember why she became famous in the first place. Or you could also just watch/rewatch Alias. The other actors in this movie were good. Not great, not bad. Just good. And I find myself saying that a lot when I review movies like this. These aren’t films that require an Oscar worthy performance. These are films that just require good basic acting, and that’s what we got.
The cinematography, the soundtrack, the costumes. There was nothing else of note. Nothing that stood out as exceptional, but that’s okay. What saves this film from a life of mediocrity, what makes this film worth watching, is the fun. I sat there with my wife, my drink, and my Red Vines and was entertained. What else can you ask for from a late summer action movie? Peppermint delivered everything I expected and everything I wanted.

Peppermint gets a 9 out of 11

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