Movies about revenge can either be examinations of the moral consequences of vengeance and the toll it takes on those who seek it out or they can simply aspire to be kick-ass action thrillers. Peppermint wants to be in the latter half, but it lacks the script and execution to work even as pulpy midnight movie fare.
Jennifer Garner plays a woman whose husband and young daughter are killed by drug dealers. After a corrupt police force, district attorney, and judge all collude to allow the killers to go free, Garner disappears for 5 years. But when she returns, she is a one-woman killing machine a la Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando.
Directed by Pierre Morel (Taken),Peppermintportrays Garner’s rampage as little more than a video game (and an easy video game at that). But for a movie that has nothing more on its mind than carnage, the action scenes feel mailed-in and perfunctory. There’s no spark or creativity to them. Action movies also live and die by their villains. The baddies in Peppermintare interchangeable, garden-variety thugs. There were henchmen in the original Robocop with more personality than any of the villains here.