Peppermint is a 2018 action flick directed by Pierre Morel, the same man who brought us Liam Neeson’s hit Taken. The movie stars Jennifer Garner as a woman on a revenge path after tragically losing her family. Saying it was poorly received when it first premiered would be an understatement. Not only was the movie panned on Rotten Tomatoes, but Garner herself received a Worst Actress Golden Raspberry nomination.
Where can you watch Peppermint in the UAE?
Peppermint is now streaming on Netflix in the UAE. If you don’t have one, you can create a Netflix account to watch this movie and other shows on Netflix. Unfortunately, Netflix does not offer any free trials in the Middle East, so you’ll have to subscribe for at least one month.
+ Jennifer Garner
+ Cool action shots
– Cartoonish villains
– Too many plot-holes
When we first meet our protagonist, Riley North (Garner), she’s in a life-or-death fight with an unnamed man inside the car. Five years prior, Riley was a working mom to a ten-year-old daughter, Carly (Cailey Fleming). Riley and her husband, Chris (Jeff Hephner), have some financial issues. The man makes the mistake of involving himself in planning to rob a local drug lord, Diego Garcia (Juan Pablo Raba).
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The crime boss learns about the scheme and retaliates by killing him and his daughter in a drive-by shooting. Devastated by the loss, Riley initially places her hopes in the justice system and the lead Detective, Stan Carmichael (John Gallagher Jr.). But corruption gets in the way, and the man who shot Chris and Carly is set free before the trial even has a chance to start. Adding insult to injury, the judge tries to get the distressed woman committed to a mental health institution.
So Riley does what anyone would do in her dire situation – She runs away to Europe, trains to become a skilled gun-yielding assassin, and returns five years later to avenge the death of her family. But as being a vigilante is not quite legal, Riley must complete her revenge before FBI Agent Lisa Inman (Annie Ilonzeh), along with Detectives Carmichael and Beltran (John Ortiz) catch up with her.
Straightforward vigilante movie
This movie is a pretty straightforward vigilante revenge thriller. There’s a protagonist who loses everything at the hands of a cartoonishly evil villain, and she seeks revenge outside the law. The issue is that almost everyone, aside from Garner’s character, is an evil one-dimensional caricature.
In an early scene, she interacts with another mother at her daughter’s school; that woman is mean and evil. The entire police department is on the drug lord’s payroll; evil. When she goes to trial, the judge is the very definition of corruption. And then there’s the cartel’s lawyer; so evil he doesn’t try to hide his evilness. While expecting too much nuance from this type of film would be unreasonable, Peppermint goes too far in its black-and-white portrayal of the world.
The performances aren’t too bad. Garner is a capable actress and does as well as expected with the material she’s been given. She does a good job at carrying the film, and considering the level of evil corruption the character is surrounded by, it’s not hard to believe she’s turned violent and gone into hiding for a few years. It is, however, hard to imagine where she got the funding for her travels and that level of expertise.
From the start, the movie made it clear the character was struggling to make ends meet. She also rejected the bribery money the drug lord offered her to not testify at the trial. It would have been nice if the movie tried to explain how this average woman with no money, resources, or friends turned into a female Rambo in just a few years.
Overall, Peppermint is a mildly entertaining movie. It has some cool and even cathartic action sequences. And as long as you’re willing to suspend your disbelief at the top of the ceiling, you might enjoy streaming this on Netflix.
What are other critics saying about Peppermint?
John Campea liked Jennifer Garner’s performance and the action sequences. But he wasn’t particularly fond of the plot.
Chris Stuckmann praised Garner’s performance but didn’t think the movie focused on key aspects of her character’s revenge path.
Jeremy Jahns didn’t like the movie and was particularly critical of the filmmaker’s decision to kill the villains from the flashback scenes off-screen.