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Photo from Los Angeles Times

Peppermint surrounds Jennifer Garner as the female version of The Punisher. Once her  her husband and daughter are murdered from a drive by, she disappears for five years then comes back to L.A. determined to get her vengeance.

I had absolutely zero desire to see this movie, and you should in no way waste your money to see this film. The dialogue is cheesy, the acting is not great, and the story is vaguely racist. It’s filled with action film clichés – quippy one liners after kicking some ass, a good character that turns out to be bad, resulting to punching when you could easily kill the protagonist who is unarmed with your gun, etc. The film does capture Los Angeles pretty well though, it shows how dirty and worn down it is, not the polished, magical place other films like to portray L.A. as.

Jennifer Garner does deliver as the action hero here. She is believable in her fight scenes and you feel her pain when her family is killed. And wow did she bulk up for this role. Her revenge quest isn’t all it’s cracked up to be though. You don’t get to see her train into how she became this vigilante and a majority of the people directly involved in her family’s murder are killed off-screen. She focuses her attention on the leader, and while that’s important, he wasn’t the one to physically kill her family so that emotional payoff never happens.

By far my biggest issue with the film is that it continues the stereotype that all Latinos are criminals. This movie has a pretty diverse cast, but you can’t appreciate that once every Latino gets killed. Now the villains in the film are the cartel, so of course you are going to cast Latinos, but films like this are not helping the growing hatred toward Latinos right now because every single one of them are painted as thugs, drug dealers, and murderers that kill nice white people. And I’m disappointed that it’s still like in Hollywood especially since I just saw Crazy Rich Asians which has positive representation.

I give Peppermint, which is a super strange title for this film, a D-

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