PEPPERMINT sticks in your teeth like an artificial confection but there’s no sweet aftertaste to savor. Another jagged run into the Death Wish neighborhood, this fanciful, derivative, unattractive and quite unpleasant 2018 tripe has avenging angel Jennifer Garner take out no less than forty-three bad guys (so much for relativity relating to reality)—gang bangers, crooked cops, corrupt judges, a-holes of every stripe—as she takes best-served-frosted vengeance on those who murdered her husband and daughter and on the useless system that let them get away with it.
No need to outline plot any more than that. Lot’s of mayhem, without the leavening of semi-felt humanity that drove Jodie Foster to get her Glock on in The Brave One. Directed by Pierre Morel, who did a good job on Liam Neeson’s Taken, this dripping serving of red meat just does not begin to convince. Beyond the downer framework, it has no trace of wit, is draggy and drawn out and lists under a boring lineup of supporting players including John Gallegher Jr., John Ortiz, Method Man, Juan Pablo Raba and Richard Cabral.
It grossed $46,500,000 against a layout cost of $25,000,000. Critics were merciless, though they overdid their moral high-ground tsk-tsking about its social implications (do spare me your hand-wringing anguish about fictional mop up of debris), when the movies real crime is not its mowing down slimeballs outside the (in)justice system (speaking of sick jokes) but in shooting itself in the
brain foot with boring and illogical scripting, been-there setups (‘lived there’, by this point), an ugly visual palette and stale as mold characters. Maybe I’ll catch on eventually, but Jennifer Garner’s appeal (?) eludes me. Pass the ammunition.