She kicked butt for five seasons as Sydney Bristow in Alias and now Jennifer Garner has returned to her action roots in new flick Peppermint.
It’s a little bit Law Abiding Citizen and a little bit Taken, but overall it’s a little bit bad.
The plot sees Garner’s Riley North become a vigilante after her husband and daughter are killed by cartel members in a drive-by shooting at the Christmas carnival.
Riley survives the attack, but the loss of her family affects her greatly.
Her attempts to achieve justice for them through the legal system are thwarted, however, by a raft of corrupt officials.
Fast-forward five years and everyone related to the case is slowly popping up dead.
The story is compelling enough but the way it’s put together is unoriginal and a little try-hard.
Firstly, the wigs Garner wears throughout the film are so bad that it’s difficult for the audience not to be distracted.
Secondly, it’s all well and good to have a female lead in an action movie – this was done to great effect in Sicario, Kill Bill, Atomic Blonde and Mad Max: Fury Road – but don’t have her doing superhuman feats that would stretch believability in even the most gargantuan of male leads.
Peppermint tries to be clever by incorporating social media into its plot, but it sadly doesn’t realise that that trope is about five to seven years too late.
Everything about this film feels outdated, of the wrong era.
The opening titles could have easily been lifted from a mid-budget crime drama in the late-90s, they’re so out of date.
It’s also confusing what message the filmmakers are trying to send. Do they condone vigilante behaviour?
It’s not like in Law Abiding Citizen where we can empathise with Gerard Butler’s plight but still recoil at the lengths which he goes to prove his point – that film provides enough perspective from other characters to allow for a clear view.
Not Peppermint though. We follow a few cops chasing Riley down, but even they don’t seem overly concerned by her brazen killing spree.
If you’re after a smart, modern action movie, you probably won’t find it in Peppermint.