The first trailer for Peppermint has Jennifer Garner back in action hero mode, as the one-time Alias and Elektra star plays a grieving wife and mother on a quest for revenge. It’s been a minute since Garner stepped into an action-oriented part, as the aforementioned Alias ended its five season run in 2006, and a year before that she starred in 20th Century Fox’s Daredevil spinoff movie, Elektra as the sai-wielding assassin and sometimes love interest Matt Murdock, Elektra Natchios. But from the trailer for Peppermint, it looks as though Garner’s action hero instincts didn’t suffer from taking a little time off.
Directed by Taken helmer Pierre Morel, Peppermint is the latest in a long line of films where an aggrieved parent/spouse embarks on a violent crusade for justice, as only they can. The film is definitely in the same wheelhouse as Liam Neeson’s dad-with-a-special-set-of-skills trilogy, though the twist here is that (1) this time it’s a mother the bad guys shouldn’t have messed with, and (2) her sense of justice also involves an incredible sense of timing, as she takes five years off to train, and then begin her crusade on the anniversary of her husband and daughter’s death.
Garner stars as Riley, a wife and mother who’s life is turned upside down following an attack on her family. After waking from a coma, and finding the justice system has come up short in terms of punishing the perpetrators of the crime, she disappears, only to reemerge years later fully ready to take revenge. In a sense, the film's protagonist is like what would happen when you combine Arya Stark with Charles Bronson’s character from Death Wish. At any rate, Peppermint looks like a routine but fairly enjoyable revenge flick.
Joining Garner is the always welcome John Ortiz, as well as The Newsroom’s John Gallager Jr. who is sporting a very nice mustache (so good for him!). The film also features roles for Richard Cabral, who can be seen this fall on FX’s Sons of Anarchy spinoff, Mayans MC, as well as Method Man, who plays Agent Barker.
Peppermint certainly goes all-in on the gritty, urban avenger routine as seen in the likes of Death Wish, The Equalizer, Man on Fire, or even Netflix’s The Punisher. It also carries itself like a fairly straightforward ‘80s or early ‘90s action film, eschewing the flash of more modern entries like John Wick and Atomic Blonde. In the end, it’s a new look for Garner that nevertheless finds her back in a familiar territory as a reliable action star.
Peppermint is expected in theaters on September 7, 2018.