“… a terribly boring, seemingly confused mess.”
I’m no stranger to terrible action movies, and for the most part I actually enjoy them, but my biggest pet peeve is a movie that doesn’t have an identity. “From the director of Taken” and a brilliantly-edited trailer leads people to assume that what we would be getting with Peppermint is a well thought-out revenge tale. Unfortunately what we got was a mess of a movie that struggled to understand what exactly it wanted.
Peppermint starts out with a gut-wrenching backstory sequence. In order to set up the plot, the movie of course have to give you context. And with that context comes piles of sob stories that made me want to fucking die. Seriously, the characters in this movie were made out to be saints. The ground they walked on was practically hallowed. None of them could do anything wrong. Even the dude who technically was the catalyst for the death of Jennifer Garner’s husband and daughter could do nothing wrong. It was bizarre that some wrote this obvious tear-bait and someone else went “Yeah, that’s great”.
But when it comes to action movies I don’t give a shit about the story; what I do care about is the action itself. And let me tell you, there isn’t much of it in Peppermint. Instead of great shootouts (of which there are a couple, I will admit) a lot of Peppermint follows Jennifer Garner as she channels her inner-vigilante and interrogates bad guys like she’s fucking Batman. The stretches between action segments seem to grow as the film progresses, and this would be fine if one of two things were happening: The characters were actually interesting (which they aren’t), or the action was worth it.
Now the action in Peppermint is kind of an anomaly in my opinion. It’s like the movie couldn’t decide if it wanted to be realistic and gritty, or over the top and tongue-in-cheek. What we ended up getting was a weird half-step between the two which left all of the action scenes feeling stilted and confused. I’m not going to lie, I was impressed with the amount of gore in the film, but it wasn’t enough y’know? When making an action movie you can either go realistic in terms of gore and one-liners (which means no one-liners), or go balls-to-the-wall which means lots of everything. Peppermint seemed to want it both ways which left the film feeling odd even during the times that should have been fun.
Also, the soundtrack was fucking terrible. I thought we were done with shitty 2000’s rock in action movies. Ugh.
Overall Peppermint was a terribly boring, seemingly confused mess. It tried to guilt you into liking the characters despite providing them with no substance, and even the action segments were oddly boring.
I give Peppermint a D