Dir. Pierre Morel
7 September 2018
I have a strong preference for pieces of art that surprise me in some way. Now, I have had a mad crush on John Gallagher, Jr. since Spring Awakening, so this pains me to say, but Peppermint is the least surprising revenge film possible. Whatever you are expecting? Peppermint is exactly that. Nothing more. Nothing less.
In fact, what frustrates me most is that the film isn’t simply predictable; rather, the dialogue telegraphs every plot point before it happens. In fact, at one point the dialogue actually telegraphs how the film could be better. Hey, yeah! Riley did just disappear for 5 years and return a skilled assassin...and no, people without priors don’t just do that. Huh. I wonder how that happened…? I know! Let’s not answer that question! (insert facepalm here)
Outside of a broadly disappointing script, the rest of the film is serviceable. The fight choreo is solid. The explosions are pretty. I believe and care about Riley in spite of the script, and that can only be due to hard work by actor Jennifer Garner and director Pierre Morel.
I do want to know where she was getting her hair done while off the grid and living in a van on Skid Row with no visible source of income because that cut and color job was exquisite.
It is films like this that are going to make me glad to have joined the AMC A-List because my disappointment and frustration did not cost me $10+. It could have been a much better film if the script had been written with an eye toward what this story would add to the vigilante film genre. It just...wasn’t. The result is expected and wholly usual.