Director: Pierre Morel
Cast: Jennifer Garner, John Ortiz, John Gallagher Jr.
Release Date: December 11, 2018
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 6.5/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
Young mother Riley North (Garner) awakens from a coma after her husband and daughter are killed in a brutal attack on the family. When the system frustratingly shields the murderers from justice, Riley sets out to transform herself from citizen to urban guerilla. Channeling her frustration into personal motivation, she spends years in hiding honing her mind, body and spirit to become an unstoppable force – eluding the underworld, the LAPD and the FBI – as she methodically delivers her personal brand of justice.
‘Peppermint’ tells the brutal tale of loving wife and mother Riley North (Garner) who after losing everything and having barely escaped death herself is forced to watch those responsible for the horrific crime walk free without any punishment courtesy of payments in the pockets of the right people. Unwilling to allow this injustice to stand, Riley vanishes only to suddenly reappear years later trained and ready to do what she believes as right, systematically killing those responsible for her loss and even cleaning up some random crime to help the locals. But when social media and the world at large becomes aware of her presence and vigilante activities, she finds herself flooded with overwhelming support on many ends, while being hunted and pursed by others in her quest for some long overdue justice.
Directed by Pierre Morel (Taken, The Gunman) from a screenplay by Chad St. John (London Has Fallen), Morel does a solid job at the helm of ‘Peppermint’ smoothly steering along the action-packed fun throughout, a genre he is certainly no stranger to by any means. The film also features a quite capable cast that includes Jennifer Garner (TV’s Alias), John Ortiz (Kong: Skull Island), John Gallagher Jr. (10 Cloverfield Land), Juan Pablo Raba (TV’s Six), Annie Ilonzeh (TV’s Chicago Fire) and more, with nearly all offering decent enough performances in each of their respective roles, and Garner once more proving herself a true action star.
‘Peppermint’ serves up plenty of gritty and tense action-packed entertainment in this capable revenge thriller in the vein of such classics as ‘Death Wish’. It definitely has no issue constructing plenty of grin-inducing and hard hitting action sequences that are sure to please fellow fans of the genre, yet at the same time the film never really manages to excel beyond the familiar traits and ideas frequent within the genre for so many decades, while also struggling with adequately capturing the humanity aspect within which seems as if it’s intended to be far more genuine than it actually comes off as. Fortunately none of that much gets in the way of the action sequences which do deliver and are the real reason many will likely be interested in this one to begin with anyway. Everything is capably guided along by director Pierre Morel whose work at the helm is only further complimented by a solid and entertaining performance from Jennifer Garner who always seems to shine in the action roles and has no trouble making for a believable and hard edged lead. It may not be overly original or special in any way, but it still manages to deliver plenty of hard hitting action and fun to appease genre fans and I would encourage anyone that enjoys similar action/revenge thrillers as well as fans of Jennifer Garner to try and make a point of giving this one a watch, at least at some point down the road.
Overall, ‘Peppermint’ is an entertaining, action-packed revenge thriller with a solid lead in Jennifer Garner that never tries to be anything special, instead concentrating on offering fans the gritty violence and other familiar traits so many desire in a typical action flick. ‘Peppermint’ is definitely recommended for fans of hard hitting action-revenge films and of the always enjoyable Garner who is a well-deserved action star in her own right. A thoroughly entertaining and violent action-revenge flick that never fails to keep the brutal fun and tension flowing, there’s a good chance it’ll at least prove worthy of your time and quite likely the price of a rental as well. It should also make for a great selection if you’re seeking a mindless action movie that doesn’t require much in the way of brainpower to relax with one casual evening.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Peppermint’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty great as a whole and provides a sharp, clean and detailed presentation from start to finish that holds up smoothly throughout, never resulting in anything on screen becoming negatively affected or rendered indiscernible, even during the various fast moving and/or darkly lit sequences. Overall, this is another solid high definition video presentation from Universal that should easily satisfy both fans and first time viewers.
The Blu-ray release features a 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack delivers a crisp, smooth and quite aggressive audio presentation throughout. Frequently taking full advantage of all seven available channels in order to send masses of bullets, debris vehicle activity, crowd chatter and plenty more zipping throughout the various speakers with regularity, and never causing any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is a wonderful 7.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that sounds consistently great and does a splendid job complimenting the film.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Peppermint’ doesn’t include a whole lot in the way of supplements, but it does offer a couple extras. Included on the release are an ‘Audio Commentary by Director Pierre Morel’, in addition to the brief Behind the Scenes Featurette ‘Justice’ (running approximately 2 minutes) which includes some interviews/comments with members of the cast and crew.