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Movie Reviews

Posted at: Sep 28, 2018, 6:23 PM; last updated: Sep 28, 2018, 6:37 PM (IST)MOVIE REVIEW: PEPPERMINT

Nothing new in it

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Film: Peppermint

  • Cast: Jennifer Garner, Method Man, John Gallagher Jr., John Ortiz, Juan Raba, Richard Cabral, Annie Ilonzeh, Pell James, Kyla-Drew Simmons
  • Director: Pierre Morel
  • Writer: Chad St. John
Nothing new in it
A still from Peppermint

Johnson Thomas

A routine regurgitated vigilante justice thriller – the only distinction being that it has a woman, Riley North (Jennifer Garner) leading the vengeance spree after the murder of her husband Chris (Jeff Hephner) and 10-year-old daughter Carly (Cailey Fleming) in a drive-by shooting by drug overlords led by Diego Garcia (Juan Pablo Raba).

As is wont for such blinkered exigencies, the murderers are let off and Riley goes underground in Asia to transform herself into an urban guerrilla. She just as easily manages to hoodwink the police and the FBI no less and only comes into their focus when she earns her stripes. Pierre Morel uses the Taken framework to generate his seen-before thrills.

The vigilante justice genre which went out of mainstream focus after Charles Bronson’s Death Wish series got a shot in the arm when Pierre Morel’s Taken franchise scored big bucks at the box-office. Peppermint is nothing but a gender equality exercise, lending Garner an apt platform to showcase her agile androgynous advantage over vicious, burly male counterpoints. Garner’s physicality is not in question here – the implausible, convenient contrivances and tokenisms irk in a serving that never rises beyond the commonplace.

The analogy linking her to an angel of mercy just does not ring true and the blood fest design for the climactic moments leave you pretty much dumbfounded. Even though you are rooting for her ascendency over her tormentors you just can’t overlook the ease with which she gets through all of them right to the end. Despite the workmanlike production and technique, this film never manages to enthuse or invigorate. This film appears to have been made to suit the new-age media platform (OTT) audience. I don’t think the multiplex audience will take kindly to having to shell out big bucks for this unremarkable extravagance!

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