“Peppermint” Leaves a Bitter Taste

Riley is furious and is determined to get revenge for the deaths of her daughter and husband. After hiding from authorities for months, Riley resurfaces with the determination to destroy everyone responsible for the deaths and the resulting miscarriage of justice.

In the wake of the murder of her husband and young daughter, a young woman seeks revenge.

CAST: Jennifer Garner (Riley North), John Gallagher, Jr. (Detective Stan Carmichael), John Ortiz (Detective Moises Beltran), Juan Pablo Raba (Diego Garcia), Annie Ilonzek (FBI Agent Lisa Inman), Jeff Hephner (Chris North), Cailey Fleming (Carly North)

Riley (Jennifer Garner), married to a loving husband named Chris (Jeff Hephner) and daughter Carly (Cailey Fleming) is struggling to make ends meet. Chris considers a scheme to steal some money from a drug lord named Diego Garcia (Juan Pablo Raba), but realizing the risk involved, comes to his senses and decides to back out of the deal. Unfortunately, he decides a little too late and is gunned down along with his daughter at an amusement park. Riley is also shot by the assailants, but survives her injuries. The three suspected gunmen are arrested, but at a preliminary hearing the judge decides not to proceed to trail and the men are released.

Jennifer Garner in a scene from Peppermint

Riley is furious and is determined to get revenge for the deaths of her daughter and husband. After hiding from authorities for months, Riley resurfaces with the determination to destroy everyone responsible for the deaths and the resulting miscarriage of justice.

The cast led by Jennifer Garner make the most of the hackneyed material.

“Peppermint” has no pretense of being a nuanced look at the failings of the criminal justice system. In doing so, it misses an opportunity to examine how the broadcast media covers crime suspects differently based on their racial and economic backgrounds. It is first and foremost a vigilante film with the requisite blood and carnage. Predictably, Riley’s character is portrayed in the media as some sort of folk hero rather than as a cold blooded killer. As a result, this film should appeal to conspiracy theorists and the nativist crowd for nothing more than the cathartic release of seeing a bunch of bad guys get their comeuppance.

The story is very predictable, but never with a dull moment. There’s plenty of action and butt-kicking throughout. The cast led by Jennifer Garner make the most of the hackneyed material. One would hope that Garner and her able supporting players (including John Ortiz and John Gallagher, Jr. as two homicide detectives), will soon get the opportunity to appear in a film that is more worthy of their respective talents.

“Peppermint” opened Friday, September 7th in wide release. The film is rated R and was released by STX Entertainment.

Trailer below:

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