Jennifer Garner seems to be going back to her roots as an action star, which is oddly where she got her big break under J.J. Abrams with the series Alias on ABC what feels like a lifetime ago. Her newest flick is called Peppermint, and it’s from director Pierre Morel, the French director who made the cult-classic, parkour action movie District B13, and the Liam Neeson masterpiece, Taken.
The film is about an all American mother and wife – living the good life – when one day at a carnival her family is gunned down by Mexican, drug-dealing gangsters. Her husband and daughter are brutally killed while she’s put in a coma.
When she finally awakes from the coma and seeks justice by identifying the men from the drive-by shooting after they were arrested, she’s denied that justice when the Mexican gangsters are freed. Garner’s character goes into hiding for five years, using the remains of her funds to purchase weapons, learn how to kill efficiently, and learn how to shoot effectively. You can check out the trailer below courtesy of STX Entertainment.
You see a lot of Garner’s training that she went through during the early days of Alias making a return here, especially some CQC Tang Soo Do techniques, where in the car sequence at the 1:48 mark we see a competently executed reverse knife-hand strike to the throat, followed up with a Hwan Rang Do hammerfist strike.
It happens fast and in the dark, but it’s a decent collection of melee techniques that are effective in close quarters combat, especially since standard punches and palm strikes require more lateral movements that aren’t afforded in tight spaces like the front seat of a car.
Later in the trailer, at the 1:57 mark, we also see her utilizing spiked knuckles to stab a man in the chest and break another man’s face before relying once more on the Tang Soo Do-style techniques to break his neck with a outside-to-in palm strike to the spine.
The first half of the trailer is pretty interesting, setting her up as an angel of death, or a female version of Frank Castle, A.K.A., The Punisher. However, the second half of the trailer tries to bring the tried and true moral quandary into the discussion, with the killings being juxtaposed between breaking the law and gaining public support for “cleaning up the streets”.
In this regard, the film seems to be playing copycat in the footsteps of films like The Brave One and the recent remake of Death Wish.
On the upside, for people who have grown tired of politically correct villains, at least the evil doers this time around meet the demographic standards of Los Angeles. Mexican cartel members helps add some semblance of reputability to the film, and those wanting to see non-white thugs getting killed will easily have their fill.
It’s a toss-up whether or not people will buy into the flick. If this had come out in the 1990s most people wouldn’t bat an eye, but in today’s diversity-driven entertainment industry, some may likely pass up on the film just because it looks like more third-wave feminist propaganda, which has become a demon on the back of almost all of entertainment these last six years.
On the upside, the film looks like it has its moments of ghastly gore and violence, so hopefully they don’t skimp out on action-movie aficionados, and go ahead and give it the hard ‘R’ rating it needs.
You can look for Peppermint to hit theaters starting September 7th, 2018 later this summer.