Friday, September 7, 2018

'Peppermint' Will Leave A Bad Taste In Your Mouth


She's mastered the arts of combat and DIY hair highlighting

As a fan of Alias, the TV show that launched Jennifer Garner to stardom, I was looking forward to seeing her kick some ass again in Peppermint, knowing it may be the closest thing to an Alias movie we might ever get. And kick ass she does, along with some throat slitting, arm and leg cracking, face punching, and nut kicking. And that's all before she whips out her arsenal of military grade firearms. 

Most Alias fans would say that all sounds pretty promising. Alas, if Peppermint were a good movie, it wouldn't be opening in September

Garner stars as Riley North, working mom to Carly (Cailey Fleming) and wife to Chris (Jeff Hephner). Chris briefly considers partaking in a shady "driving" job with a friend but backs out before it happens. That decision never reaches the bad guys, who take their revenge out on him and his family.

Riley survives the massacre, but thanks to a corrupt police department, D.A.'s office, and judge, the three easily identifiable killers (pro tip: if you want to enter a life of crime, reconsider those distinguishing face tattoos; or at least consider a mask) are set free. Thus is born Riley North, avenging angel.

Five years after the murders, Riley has returned to Los Angeles after falling off the grid. Those years allowed her plenty of time to travel the world to learn the fine arts of cage fighting, bomb making, and gun slinging. She wants to kill the men who murdered her family, as well as everyone associated with them.

That's where the whole thing gets problematic. The killers are Hispanic. The drug cartel they work for are Hispanic. Almost all of the bad guys are Hispanic, and every Hispanic is a bad guy, (aside from one cop who the film wants you to think may be a bad guy). If that's too subtle for you, a shoot-out even happens in party supply warehouse filled with pinatas. Peppermint is so obviously playing into current conservative fears over illegal immigrants and MS-13, it could be used as a wall-building propaganda film.

Now, it's not like I'm looking to a violent vengeance film from the director of Taken and The Transporter to provide some subtle commentary on race, poverty, and the circle of violence (though it would be nice), but it does make me question the ultimate intent here. I could think of no worse a time for a director and star to release a movie like this if they aren't people who believe Mexico is only sending us rapists and killers.

In other words, what's a nice girl like Jennifer Garner doing in racist trash like this?


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yet another stupidly bias, liberal review from a critic who refuses to be truly subjective. Letting their anti Trump feelings get in the way. It's not "racist" if Latino criminals actually exist, and they do. If the movie is bad because of plot holes and inconsistencies in writing, character development, etc. it's one thing. But this horrible, unprofessional PC attitude towards the portrayal of scum I see in most of the Peppermint reviews! Lets cry over the poor teenage murdering, satin worshipping MS13, are you insane? Your hatred against Trump should not be reflected in reviews sir! This film is an action fantasy. Not a reason for you to get on a soapbox and defend your, misguided CNN sensibilities. I sometimes wonder if after Trump leaves the White House people will regain their senses and not continue to be tools for the lying, bias, mainstream media anymore. I'm beginning to think not and that's something that frightens me! Because a world where violent criminals always get sympathy, hence get off will be an unliveable one!

Robert Crawford III Wilson said...

No, they’re right. It’s a racist movie that is a throwback to 2007.