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Peppermint (2018) Advanced Screening Review

“If you can say my name, I’ll let you live”

Release Date: September 7th, 2018

Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller

Length:  1H 42M

MPAA: 14A – according to IMdB (This feels like an R to me, so just a heads up).

I’d like to thank Mr. Will Wong for the chance to win passes to this screening.

Peppermint’s trailer was FANTASTIC. I didn’t know what to expect from it when my brother showed me it, and I was blown away and immediately intrigued. It reminded me of the style of action film we’ve come accustomed to the last couple of years with films like Taken, John Wick, Atomic Blonde, if you’ve seen any action movie in the last couple years,  you know the type. It was easily one of my most anticipated films for the rest of the year (Other than that new Halloween film of course), so I jumped at the opportunity to go see this film early.

Peppermint is an action, drama, thriller about a revenge story focused on a young mother who finds herself with nothing to lose, and is now going to take from her enemies the very life they stole from her.

The film is directed by Pierre Morel. Morel is best known for directing District B13 (2004), and Taken (2008). Going into this movie I had pretty high expecations from the trailer, I didnt even know that it was the same director as Taken (2008) and District B13 (2004), I loved the original Taken, it was a really well executed thriller. District B13 was a really cool action movie, if you’re into parkour or just looking for something a bit different, definitely check it out. (It was remade as Brick Mansions with Paul Walker and starring the same guy from the original in 2014, which I thought was pretty good too). Anyway, I felt a lukewarm reception while watching Peppermint. The spark wasn’t there that I felt with those other two films, it was just lacking overall. I thought the director did the best he could with what he had; but it was nothing to write home about.

This is where I usually talk about the script, but considering I didn’t watch any of this other guys movies, i omitted the write up for him. His name is Chad St. John, since I can’t do what I usually do, I’ll base it off this movie alone. I thought the writing was a bit stale, and very formulaic. If you’ve seen these types of movies before, you know exactly what I mean when I say this. It just felt empty, overall. There were a couple of good moments in the script, but overall I felt it was a bit flat.

Peppermint stars Jennifer Garner as Riley North, John Gallagher Jr. as Detective Stan Carmichael, John Ortiz as Detective Moises Beltran.

Jennifer Garner’s filmography consists of Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000), 13 Going On 30 (2004), The Kingdom (2007), Juno (2007), and Dallas Buyers Club (2013). This was what I was really intrigued to see, I didn’t watch Alias when it was on TV, but I felt like overall I can understand the types of roles Garner gets, where from the trailer I was super excited to see her play a different role. I thought Jennifer Garner was great in this movie, she was a complete and utter badass, but she got to use her skills as the charming, wonderful mother she has been casted as over the years. I was a big fan of her character, and I would honestly like to see her star in more action films. (or maybe another one of these, if this one makes enough money).

John Gallagher Jr.’s filmography consists of 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) and Hush (2016). I don’t know this guy too well, but I think he’s a good actor. I thought Hush was a brilliant film (idea for a future review?), really unique entry into the horror genre. I find it always difficult when actors play cops, as I feel like if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. Theres a few standouts though; For Example Det. Mills and Somerset from Se7en (1995), or really any David Fincher movie that involves cops.

John Ortiz’s filmography consists of Ransom (1996), Miami Vice (2006), American Gangster (2007), Pride & Glory (2008), Public Enemies (2009), Fast & Furious (2009), Silver Linings Playbook (2012), Furious 6 (2013), The Drop (2014), Steve Jobs (2015), Kong: Skull Island (2017), and The Cloverfield Paradox (2018). I’m glad I wrote this review just to learn this guys name, he is always the guy that pops up in a film somewhere and you know you definitely recognize him, but you can never think of his name. I thought he was good in this movie, nothing to complain about, nothing to write home about.

Overall, I felt the acting in this movie was good. I think with a better script the film would’ve been overall better.

There were some cool action set pieces in this movie, some stuff that is quite simple and i’m surprised other films didn’t do it first.

My gripes against the movie were the pacing felt off to me. There were big leaps of time that weren’t filled in, it just felt weird. I felt like I was supposed to know information or fill in the necessary information for the film to succeed. It just felt weird, and thats what really dragged down this film for me. That and I felt like it didn’t do anything new or to shake the foundation of what action films are or even the revenge thriller. It was a paint by the numbers film, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but on this viewing it rubbed me the wrong way.

This movie is fine, I don’t really know how else to describe it. Jennifer Garner was a big highlight, but the film just felt like a been there done that.

If you’ve seen the trailer, you know what too expect. If you’ve read a synopsis of the film, you know what to expect. This is another one of those movies, and its just fine.

I give Peppermint a 3/5.

Until next time,


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