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Long before she married Ben Affleck, or helped Alexander through his terrible horrible no good very bad day, Jennifer Garner was an ass-kicking action hero on the ABC television series Alias. (Hey Netflix, reboot THAT show pronto!) Studios stopped trying to lean into that side of Garner's on-screen abilities -- Elektra might have scared them off -- but the new movie Peppermint is blowing the dust off of the actress's lethal accomplishments to cast her as a vengeful angel of death. Here's the brutal but thrilling trailer for this year's Peppermint:
The title of the movie, with a trailer on Fandango, references the favorite ice cream flavor of Riley North's daughter. North (Garner) bought some for her child, then watched helplessly as the girl and her father were gunned down by members of a drug cartel. North wants to testify against the men who took away everything she cared about. But corruption at all levels of the courts works against her, and the men who murdered her family are set free.
Taking a page from the origin story of Marvel's own Punisher, Peppermint turns Riley North (Jennifer Garner) into a warrior. She drops off the grid for five years, and trains. She becomes unstoppable, then returns home to serve up ice-cold plates of justice to the cartel members who ripped her heart out.
The thing about Peppermint -- which was also the thing about Alias -- is that Jennifer Garner can sell kick-ass action. She's vicious in her fight scenes. She looks like she was raised on a gun range, and adeptly handles all manor of weaponry with ease. I never doubted the ability of Sydney Bristow while watching Garner dispose of bad guys on the ABC series, and I see no issue with believing that Riley North is a savage killer with vengeance in her heart and five-years of throat-slashing training under her belt when this movie needs me to accept that. Bring it on.
Peppermint comes from Pierre Morel, who helmed Liam Neeson's original Taken (good!) and John Travolta's From Paris With Love (bad!). So this could go in any direction. It's interesting that the movie will try to fill a time slot -- Autumn -- where Bruce Willis attempted to bring back Death Wish, and failed miserably. Unfortunately, that movie reached theaters in the shadow of yet another school shooting, and audiences likely didn't want to pay to escape reality by watching another person with a gun. Peppermint might face similar obstacles. We'll know when we get closer to the movie's release date on September 7.