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Did “Peppermint” Pull it off


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Peppermint starring Jennifer Garner as the vigilante mother in the lead role is finally out on the big screens. But the movie might not have been as originally executed as people would have imagined. Rather, the movie has little surprises to offer. And Jennifer Garner playing the lead role is doing little to hide the dullness of the film.

The Plot Of ‘Peppermint’

Peppermint comes from the directors of Taken. It is written by screenwriter Chad St. John. And probably the only thing differentiating the movie from other vigilante thrillers is that Jennifer Garner plays the lead role of a mother. But even then, it does not make the deliberate violence on screens look any less unpleasant.

Jennifer Garner plays Riley North who comes from a lower middle class family in Los Angeles. She works as a bank teller so the family can make both ends meet. Her husband Chris is a mechanic who agrees to drive the getaway vehicle in the robbery of a powerful drug dealer Diego Garcia. That brings his name into the game. But then Chris and his daughter Carly are gunned down at a Christmas carnival right in front of Riley’s eyes. However, the criminals get away free owing to a corrupt judge and lawyer. And then Jennifer Garner disappears for a whole five years. When she finally returns, one by one her enemies start falling dead.

Peppermint is a story in which the lead mother takes up the tools of her oppressors to take her revenge. She practically stalks everyone who wronged her and denied her the rightful justice. She attacked the men for their behavior and one can spot the traces of feminine rage in Garner’s actions. But the whole thing is not that empowering as it could have been.

Is ‘Peppermint’ Even Original?

The idea behind peppermint- a vigilante mother seeking justice for her family by going badass does sound original. But a deeper look tells that Peppermint is basically a mixture of a lot of themes that we have already experienced on screens.

Mothers Going Rogue For Their Children

Jennifer Garner enacting revenge for the murder of her daughter is not something we heard for the first time. Rather, this concept is really old now. Numerous television series and movies are based on the idea of a mother doing every single thing for the betterment and happiness of their children and families as a whole.

Netflix series Good Girls was all about this theme. Three women who take control of their lives and make it all about affording their children and keeping them satisfied. Beth, Annie and Ruby are either financially ruined, or fixed up in nasty custody battles with their exes. But everything they do is to pull themselves out of it for the sake of their children. So, technically Jennifer Garner turning into a villain to take revenge for her daughter and family isn’t all that unique now.

Vigilante Justice

Peppermint is definitely not the first vengeance tale of its kind. It’s just another one in the list of Taken, John Wick, Atomic Blonde and Death Wish. Practically, the only thing that’s different about this movie from other vigilante shoot ups is that the lead hero is a female. Apart from that, there is nothing much different. It’s all the same- Jennifer Garner would track down and stalk her enemies before finally killing them off in undesirable super violent acts.

Mexican Gang as the Scapegoat Enemy

It seems like Hollywood has relied on making Mexican gangs the ultimate enemy for too long. Isn’t it everything that we always see, and are pretty tired of it by now? Well, it really is. But undoubtedly, it’s a concept that the industry is not letting go off any time soon. And Jennifer Garner’s Peppermint has displayed the Mexican gang as the scapegoat enemy once again.

So, overall, it can be said that Peppermint is full of borrowed concepts. It’s a mixture of bits and pieces of stories that already exist and then combining them into a weird mesh. And even when the original ideas are great individually, it seems like combining them into one was not a very good option after all. Or maybe, it’s just that the mixture was not executed as well as it could have been.

As excited as fans were, to see Jennifer Garner take on a thriller movie once again and return to her action roots, her acting has done some good to the movie. And lifted it up a whole lot. But otherwise Peppermint might not have matched standards at all.

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