We’ve seen the revenge narrative played out on film a number of times before, but rarely is it a story where a woman is taking revenge on those who have taken everything she holds dear. Peppermint is that movie, and so much more.
Riley North (Jennifer Garner) is working hard to raise her beautiful daughter Carly (Cailey Fleming). Her husband Chris (Jeff Hephner) longs for more money as his day job is not providing the funds he had hoped it would for his family. That search just may lead him to the wrong type of people, and he’s still not sure what he is willing to do to get the money he so desires.
As Mom, Dad and daughter head to the carnival to celebrate Carly’s birthday, a fun day turns horrifying as only Riley leaves the carnival alive. After waking up from her injuries, Riley sets her mind on getting those responsible for her husband and daughter’s deaths put away. She identifies the men responsible, but her day in court does not turn out the way she thinks it should.
Riley goes on the run and disappears. Years after Riley’s disappearance, people associated with the failed legal proceedings begin dying. A theory is born: Could Riley North be back to exact revenge on those who wronged her? If she is, what is her objective? What will she do next?
A bold decision to put Garner in the lead role here pays off in a big way. She was an action hero in Alias, but lately her roles as Mom have been of the much tamer variety. She floats between passive wife/mother and vigilante with ease and is believable in both capacities. Garner is in control of the role, and that control transfers to the character she plays.
Though the plot is thin, it’s a simple revenge film, with never-ending action that explodes from the screen. Cheers are destined to fill your theater for the woman who takes down all those who did her wrong.
As viewers, we are filled with mixed feelings. Sure, we want Riley to have justice, but how far are we willing to go with that desire? Is everything and everyone fair game? It’s a personal moral question that runs deep in Peppermint. But without thinking too much about the deeper quandary, one can still enjoy the fact that the good guys can win — or in this case the good woman can win. Riley may have lost the battle, but she definitely won the war.
Peppermint is available beginning Dec. 11 on Demand and on DVD. Check your cable system for availability