Garrett and Carson discuss whether this movie is peppermint or poopermint.
Peppermint is another take on the familiar theme of vengeance. There are movies that tell a similar story better than Peppermint does, but there are so many that do it much worse. You could make an entire genre of only revenge movies. Peppermint is somewhere in the middle of all of those. Jennifer Garner is very believable in her “bad-ass” role. This is a much darker version of her Sydney Bristow character in the TV show Alias. It is a good role for her, and she should do more movies like this. Although next time she should find a better director.
The major issues in Peppermint all stem from director Pierre Morel. You could blame a subpar script, but I believe the choices Morel makes in the storytelling is the real problem with this movie. There are weak performances throughout (including a really bad scene from Garner) that seem like they were done in one take and Morel just said, “That’s good enough, let’s just get to the gunfights.” The choppy editing and Morel’s refusal to adhere to movie logic take a movie with real potential to the abyss of middle of the pack.
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.