<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>


Directed by Pierre Morel. Starring Jennifer Garner, John Gallagher Jr, John Ortiz, Juan Pablo Raba, Jeff Hephner, Annie Illonzeh

Running time: 1 hour 45 minutes


So what do you expect to get when the director of Taken, Pierre Morel, decides to go with the trend of female action heroes? Unfortunately, even a great action hero can’t save a terribly made film.


I think Jennifer Garner is a great action hero; she’s got a proven track record, a pleasing personality and is a great actor too. And if Peppermint is a relatively decent watch it’s only because it has Garner in it. The rest of the cast are atrocious. The writing is bad, the editing fails time and again, the plot is ridiculous and the back-story is non-existent. It’s like the filmmakers just wanted to showcase Garner shooting up bad guys and dropping more bodies than John Wick did.

While Wick was avenging his murdered puppy, Riley North (Jennifer Garner) must take revenge on the drug cartel that ruthlessly gunned down her husband and little daughter in front of her. Inspite of identifying the murderers, a corrupt justice system and police force let them go. So she disappears for five years and becomes the female Terminator.


Apart from a YouTube video of her kickboxing, there’s no story about what she’s been through – which would’ve been more interesting than the ensuing death porn – and how she got so badass. What follows is just Riley on a killing rampage, feeding into our anger at her daughter’s death but quickly becoming a ludicrous case of extreme road rage where she even beats up a fellow school mom who tormented her daughter. It’s sort of like Falling Down but without Michael Douglas’s superb angst. Don’t get me wrong, we all want the ugly, mother-fucking Latino (stereotyping perhaps…?) cartel goons dead. We want the asshole, incompetent cops and judge dead too! Well on a primal level. And that’s what this is, just primal violence with no sophistication, thought, time for emotion or redemption.

The entire film is a cliché actually. You know what’s going to happen, you know who the bad cop is going to be (it’s either this guy or that one) and you know what the media is going to say about it all. It’s just Jennifer Garner’s focus and vigour that stop you from rolling your eyes and scoffing at this horrible filmmaking.


‘Why is the film called Peppermint?’ someone asked me. Because her daughter had a peppermint ice-cream just before she died. That’s how much the makers thought about this film. Well I think Rocky-Road would’ve been more apt.

PS: Read this article Jennifer Garner in ‘Peppermint’: ‘You Feel Her Pain Every Time She Takes a Punch

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