Peppermint is an action movie for people that will you tell you Taken is just as good as John Wick. Or that they really don’t see the difference between Atomic Blonde and Lucy. It’s not that they’re wrong, but it represents a dilution of these movies to their least common denominator: a hero going bang-bang and bad guys going bye-bye.
It ignores — perhaps willfully — the immense efforts in choreography and camerawork that go into making truly great action scenes. It confuses efficient plot with shallow, shoddy storytelling. It mistakes a complex, yet singularly driven hero with a cardboard character that has no depth or growth.
Peppermint is guilty of everything listed above which makes it a pretty miserable movie overall. Worse, it’s action is of the vanilla, color-by-number shoot ’em up variety which brings nothing new to the action+revenge genre that we haven’t already seen since the late 90’s/early 2000’s. It is the latest in a number of attempts to strike gold with the Taken formula that combines an against type actor with minimal plot and tries to hide its flaws with enough generic action to distract you. And, like the Taken sequels and its knock-offs, it will end up in the same spot: the $5 DVD bin at Wal-Mart.