Hello all, and welcome to my review of Peppermint! 😀
Starring: Jennifer Garner (Riley North), John Gallagher Jr. (Detective Stan Carmichael), John Ortiz (Detective Moises Beltran), Annie Ilonzeh (FBI Agent Lisa Inman), Juan Pablo Raba (Diego Garcia)
Plot (taken from IMDb):
“Peppermint is a revenge story centering on a young mother who finds herself with nothing to lose, and is now going to take from her enemies the very life they stole from her.”
Jennifer Garner (Riley North) – Watch out Sarah Connor and Ellen Ripley – you have some competition for all time female badass in my heart, lol. I love Jennifer Garner anyway, but I especially love her in tough roles like this one. Riley was determined, and wholly focused on reaching her end goal, no matter the cost to herself, but she never failed to look out for others along the way.
John Gallagher Jr. (Detective Stan Carmichael) – One of the cops who worked on her case in the beginning, trying to catch the people who killed her family. He was interesting in that he was more complicated than he seemed at first. Honestly, his character surprised me in the end, lol.
John Ortiz (Detective Moises Beltran) – Carmichael’s partner, who also tried to help her in the beginning. While he was a little more hesitant to stand up to the cartel than Carmichael was, he also surprised me quite a bit.
Annie Ilonzeh (FBI Agent Lisa Inman) – An agent who apparently had been tracking Riley since she disappeared after the trial. I really wish they had delved into her investigation of Riley more – like how and why the FBI got involved in tracking Riley in the first place. The events leading up to Riley disappearing for 5 years don’t seem to be enough for the FBI to get involved, in my opinion, so I feel like there’s a little missed opportunity here. I really did like this character though, although her background in the case wasn’t fully explored. She had a strong sense of justice and seemed to want to get to the bottom of Riley’s case, despite the threat the cartel posed.
Juan Pablo Raba (Diego Garcia) – An impressively disgusting villain, lol. He really gives zero shits about killing anyone who gets in his way – including children, apparently. The actor did a great job of portraying a man who has completely lost his humanity.
This is one kind of movie I love that shockingly doesn’t involve romance as a main plot point, lol. I have to admit, I really do like most vigilante movies – especially where there’s a certain awareness of them not becoming the evil they’re trying to kill. Peppermint did a really great job with this.
The movie opens with Riley spending time with her family on her daughter’s birthday. They establish how close and loving they are, giving you a glimpse into their family life and their struggles.
The set up was well done, because even though these happy moments were brief, they were enough to make me care and get me emotionally invested.
Sooooo, this is also the part of the movie where I cried, because I’m a big baby and that’s just what I do.
The beginning is always the hardest to watch in a vigilante movie, because you KNOW horrible things are about to happen. Otherwise, there would be no movie. By the start of the trial against the men who killed Riley’s family I was more than ready for some serious bloodshed.
I feel like there were a few missed opportunities in this movie though.
The first thing I think they could have done better is how they show her doling out the vengeance. Lol, and here’s where my ragey, vengeful spirit rears its head – they completely gloss over what would have been a couple of the more satisfying kills.
Aaaaaaannnnnd now I sound like a serial killer, lol. But hear me out!
After Riley’s husband and daughter are killed, there are 6 people who she comes face to face with who really, REALLLY need to be destroyed in all kinds of horrible ways, including the 3 who murdered her family. Of those 6 who I spent the first 30 minutes of the movie hating with every fiber of my being, you only see 2 of them get knocked off. The other 4 are only mentioned in passing. Then she moves on to the bigger guys who gave the order to kill her family.
Personally, I wanted to watch her rain some doom down on all 6 of them. Oooooo – especially that dude who offered her money. But they left him out of the carnage completely, and his death only gets a brief mention. *sigh*
The second thing I think they missed out on was explaining how and where she got her badass vigilante assassin skills. How did she come up with this plan so quickly? How did she know where to go? Who to train with? How to stay under the radar until she was ready? They barely touched on anything pertaining to how she becomes a badass.
And, as mentioned in the character section, how did she end up on the FBI watch list? Yeah, she escapes from police custody on her way to a mental institution after the trial, but I wouldn’t think that would be enough for the FBI to care. I feel like they have bigger things on their plate.
Not that I’m going to complain about the resulting fight scenes, because you know I’m not, lol. I love fight scenes, and these were really impressive! Jennifer Garner always makes the fighting look more real, in my opinion, probably because she’s practiced martial arts in real life.
Small complaints aside though, I really appreciated that no matter what extremes she went to in order to get her vengeance, she never really completely lost herself. Deep down, she was still the loving mother and wife. She still gave a shit about other people, especially kids. While she tried not to get involved in anything, and was able to stay hidden, she did go out of her way to help people when she saw bad things happening.
I really loved this movie. I was invested the whole time, and I respected and loved the main character. Honestly, I’d be interested in seeing more of her story.
They left room for a sequel, and I really hope they go for it. Diego Garcia wasn’t the real leader of the cartel, after all. There’s still plenty of room for Riley to go after the guy who runs it all.
My rating for Peppermint: Cash-Worthy – This movie was awesome! Lol, I never really realized how much I tend to like vigilante movies, but I definitely have a soft spot for them. There were a couple nit-picky things that kept it from being Epic for me, but I really loved this movie over all. Check this one out if you like movies like The Punisher, Kill Bill, or John Wick, or vigilante movies in general. 😀
My Rating System:
Epic: This movie is so mind-bogglingly awesome that I may go see it twice. This one will have a place of honor on my shelf.
Cash-Worthy: Good stuff. This will most likely find a place on my shelf.
Not Bad: I liked it. I’m glad I saw it, and it may or may not end up on my shelf at some point. I would say rent it first to be safe.
Meh: Rent it first. You may love it or hate it, but I’m indifferent probably because it’s not my type of movie. I’m glad I saw it, but it won’t end up on my shelf.
Emergency Cake: I have an emotional reaction to movies sometimes, especially to tragedies. If a movie makes me sad or angry, sometimes it will stick with me for a while. At these times, only chocolate cake can save me. Chocolate cake makes everything better. No shelf for you. Ever.
** Intro art is called “Angelic Vigilante” by SketchingDays on Deviant Art. **