Peppermint

Peppermint

2018, R, 102 min. Directed by Pierre Morel. Starring Jennifer Garner, Richard Cabral, John Gallagher Jr., Juan Pablo Raba, Annie Ilonzeh, John Ortiz.

REVIEWED By Matthew Monagle, Fri., Sept. 14, 2018

Ever since Clint Eastwood asked a bank robber to weigh in on the vagaries of chance, vigilante films have courted controversy at the box office. In that regard, at least, Pierre Morel’s Peppermint is just the latest in a long line of problematic action movies. The hope for the studio is that the fight choreography will outweigh the narrow-minded depiction of Latino youth, or the (cough) "economic anxiety" that forces a white, middle-class woman into a shooting spree. The last thing Peppermint could afford to be was a mediocre action movie, and yet, here we are, and here it is.

In her return to the action genre, Garner plays Riley North, a loving wife and mother struggling to make ends meet as middle-class Angelenos. When her family is tragically murdered by local kingpin Diego Garcia (Raba), North attempts to identify the gunman at trial only to discover that the entire courtroom is already deep in the gang boss' pocket. Swearing revenge, she flees the country and disappears for the better part of a decade, returning with a proficiency for firearms and incredible hand-to-hand combat skills that she uses to murder her way through half of Los Angeles.

Make no mistake: the one thing keeping Peppermint from being dumped on VOD is Garner’s presence in the lead role. Our familiarity with the actress’ career is arguably the biggest point in Peppermint’s favor; the film never bothers to explain how and where North picked up her newfound skills, allowing our intertextual knowledge of Garner's early Hollywood work (as an action lead in movies like Daredevil and J.J. Abrams' popular Alias series) to do the heavy lifting on her behalf. And despite the film’s glaring lack of significant set-pieces, Peppermint does entertain when it keeps the focus on Garner’s physicality. There’s more than a little Geena Davis magic  –  à la The Long Kiss Goodnight – in how she nails down both halves of her performance.

Unfortunately, it’s not enough. Morel's parkour-driven 2004 film District B13 is often named as one of the best action movies of the young century, but none of that style is on display here. The fight sequences are surprisingly stodgy, forgoing any unique or memorable fight aesthetic in favor of midrange gunfights and enthusiastic squibs. Granted, Peppermint is unafraid to lean into a good gunshot wound, but there’s no sense of evolution here beyond the fight sequences that made Morel’s Taken a standout more than a decade ago. Take into consideration the film’s heavy metal musical cues and MTV-inspired editing, and Peppermint seems to be an action movie two decades too late. Surely, Garner deserves better than this.

Showtimes

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 South Capital of Texas Hwy, 512/306-1991, www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

Mon., Sept. 24

CC/DVS 11:00am, 1:30, 4:00, 6:40

Tue., Sept. 25

CC/DVS 6:00

Wed., Sept. 26

CC/DVS 11:00am, 1:30, 4:00, 6:40

Cinemark 20 and XD

N. I-35 & FM 1825, 512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

Mon., Sept. 24

digital 1:30, 4:20, 7:05, 9:50

Tue., Sept. 25

digital 1:30, 4:20, 7:05, 9:50

Wed., Sept. 26

digital 1:30, 4:20, 7:05, 9:50

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, 800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

Mon., Sept. 24

digital 12:20

Tue., Sept. 25

digital 12:20

Mon., Sept. 24

digital 10:15

Tue., Sept. 25

digital 10:15

Wed., Sept. 26

digital 10:15

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

Mon., Sept. 24

digital 2:00, 4:45, 7:25, 10:20

Tue., Sept. 25

digital 2:00, 4:45, 7:25, 10:20

Wed., Sept. 26

digital 2:00, 4:45, 7:25, 10:20

Thu., Sept. 27

digital 2:00, 4:45

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Mon., Sept. 24

digital 10:00am, 12:35, 3:05, 5:35, 8:05, 10:35

Tue., Sept. 25

digital 10:00am, 12:35, 3:05, 5:35, 8:05, 10:35

Wed., Sept. 26

digital 10:00am, 12:35, 3:05, 5:35, 8:05, 10:35

Cinemark Stone Hill Town Center

18820 Hilltop Commercial Dr., 512/251-0938, www.cinemark.com

Mon., Sept. 24

digital 3:00

Tue., Sept. 25

digital 3:00

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown, 512/868-9922

Mon., Sept. 24

1:25, 4:10, 7:25, 10:05

Tue., Sept. 25

1:25, 4:10, 7:25, 10:05

Wed., Sept. 26

1:25, 4:10, 7:25, 10:05

EVO Entertainment

3200 Kyle Crossing, Kyle, 512/523-9009, www.evo-entertainment.com

Mon., Sept. 24

11:00am, 1:35, 4:10, 6:40, 9:15

Tue., Sept. 25

11:00am, 1:35, 4:10, 6:40, 9:15

Wed., Sept. 26

11:00am, 1:35, 4:10, 6:40, 9:15

Flix Brewhouse

2200 S. I-35, Round Rock, 512/244-3549, www.flixbrewhouse.com/round-rock

Mon., Sept. 24

CC 4:00, 7:00, 10:00

Tue., Sept. 25

CC 4:00, 7:00, 10:00

Wed., Sept. 26

CC 4:00, 7:00, 10:00

Thu., Sept. 27

CC 4:00, 7:00, 10:00

Galaxy Highland 10

6700 Middle Fiskville, 512/467-7305, www.galaxytheatres.com

No one under 18 will be allowed in the theatre on Friday or Saturday after 7pm without an adult.

Mon., Sept. 24

1:20, 4:25, 7:05, 9:40
CC/DL/HI 1:20, 4:25, 7:05, 9:40

Tue., Sept. 25

1:20, 4:25, 7:05, 9:40
CC/DL/HI 1:20, 4:25, 7:05, 9:40

Wed., Sept. 26

1:20, 4:25, 7:05, 9:40
CC/DL/HI 1:20, 4:25, 7:05, 9:40

Thu., Sept. 27

1:20, 4:25
CC/DL/HI 1:20, 4:25, 7:05, 9:40

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake, 512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Mon., Sept. 24

CC/DVS 12:05, 2:40, 5:15, 7:50, 10:30

Tue., Sept. 25

CC/DVS 12:05, 2:40, 5:15, 7:50, 10:30

Wed., Sept. 26

CC/DVS 12:05, 2:40, 5:15, 7:50, 10:30

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas, 512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Mon., Sept. 24

CC/DVS 11:50am, 2:25, 5:00, 7:40, 10:20

Tue., Sept. 25

CC/DVS 11:50am, 2:25, 5:00, 7:40, 10:20

Wed., Sept. 26

CC/DVS 11:50am, 2:25, 5:00, 7:40, 10:20

Thu., Sept. 27

CC/DVS 11:50am, 2:25, 5:00, 7:40, 10:20

Moviehouse & Eatery

8300 N. FM 620, Bldg. B, 512/501-3520, www.themoviehouse.com/trails/

Mon., Sept. 24

10:55am, 1:00, 4:00, 7:00

Tue., Sept. 25

10:55am, 1:00, 4:00, 7:00

Wed., Sept. 26

10:55am, 1:00, 4:00, 7:00

Thu., Sept. 27

10:55am, 1:00, 4:00, 7:00

Moviehouse & Eatery - Lantana Place

7415 Southwest Parkway, Building 7, 512/572-0770, www.themoviehouse.com/lantana/

Mon., Sept. 24

11:00am, 4:30, 8:00, 10:55

Tue., Sept. 25

11:00am, 4:30, 8:00, 10:55

Wed., Sept. 26

11:00am, 4:30, 8:00, 10:55

Thu., Sept. 27

11:00am, 4:30, 8:00, 10:55

Schulman Theatres Lost Pines 8

1600 Chestnut St, Bastrop, 512/321-0123, www.schulmantheatres.com

Mon., Sept. 24

10:10am, 1:15, 4:10, 7:00, 9:50

Tue., Sept. 25

10:10am, 1:15, 4:10, 7:00, 9:50

Wed., Sept. 26

10:10am, 1:15, 4:10, 7:00, 9:50

Sky Cinemas

13201 US-290, 512/457-0700, www.skycinemas.com

Mon., Sept. 24

1:20, 3:45, 7:00, 9:30

Tue., Sept. 25

1:20, 3:45, 7:00, 9:30

Wed., Sept. 26

1:20, 3:45, 7:00, 9:30

Thu., Sept. 27

1:20, 7:00, 9:30

Starplex 12 San Marcos

1250 Wonder World Drive, San Marcos, 512/805-8000

Mon., Sept. 24

11:45am, 2:15, 4:45, 7:15, 9:50

Tue., Sept. 25

11:45am, 2:15, 4:45, 7:15, 9:50

Wed., Sept. 26

11:45am, 2:15, 4:45, 7:15, 9:50

Thu., Sept. 27

11:45am, 2:15, 4:45, 7:15, 9:50

Westgate 11

4477 S. Lamar, 512/899-2717

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Mon., Sept. 24

CC/DVS 11:20am, 2:10, 4:35, 7:00, 9:25

Tue., Sept. 25

CC/DVS 11:20am, 2:10, 4:35, 7:00, 9:25

Wed., Sept. 26

CC/DVS 11:20am, 2:10, 4:35, 7:00, 9:25

Thu., Sept. 27

CC/DVS 11:20am, 2:10, 4:35

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READ MORE
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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Peppermint, Pierre Morel, Jennifer Garner, Richard Cabral, John Gallagher Jr., Juan Pablo Raba, Annie Ilonzeh, John Ortiz

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