by Tony Rutherford , HNN Entertainment Editor
Garner Turns Tough Vigilante for Punchy, Rousing, Anti-Corruption Vengeance Premise Typical "Peppermint"

A strong heads up goes to scrappy, bad ass diva muscle punching "b" , Jennifer (Electra) Garner, as she mows down an untouchable drug cartel that took the lives of her daughter and husband. Known as Riley, formerly a working class squirrely soccer  mom, she survives a drive by carnival slaughter by peons of a drug kingpin. When the infiltrated establishment permits the killers a legal blame it on the victim loophole, she steals $50,000 from her employer and disappears overseas reemerging as a bulky, mixed martial arts, terror trained warrior.

On the anniversary of her family's murder, she becomes a one woman killing machine opting for public display of the bodies of three hanging from a crane and following up with a blown to bits justice for bad dudes judge. ("You didn't serve justice, your honor, I will....") 

"Peppermint" opens with vengeance displayed and a stern, confident walk of a scuzzy Riley returning to her skid row van to self-staple her wounds. Unlike the typical male action bullet blazer where the handsome hero escapes without a scratch, Garner dons a vest but that does not prevent lacerations, blood splatters, and wounds. Her brazen determination to waste the top cartel brokers earns her popularity on social media and within law enforcement whose guns had been glued to holsters from a political protection  hierarchy.

Garner Turns Tough Vigilante for Punchy, Rousing, Anti-Corruption Vengeance Premise Typical "Peppermint"

Flashback visions of her daughter keep adrenaline pumping  and her kindness to kids on skid row maintain her humanity. Some view her as a tent city angel or Robin Hood. None of the residents mess with her or her stuff. 

Military grade weapons abound, but "Peppermint" sticks with old style fisticuffs and blasting bullets which provides a welcome respite from complex special effects. That means they have to use their mouths and insert some brain power to move the partly predictable premise forward in ways that would inspire gal power chants. 

Charleston's Garner displays rum , Jenny, run ability avoiding the kingpin that wants to put the "b" in a box.

Garner Turns Tough Vigilante for Punchy, Rousing, Anti-Corruption Vengeance Premise Typical "Peppermint"

"Peppermint" explodes on screens a few days after Marvel dropped the first in costume photos of Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) staking claim for Spring that the first of many female powered films await. 

Sure, this is yet another reinvention or incarnation of the Charles Bronson "Death Wish" scenario but the switch to a gets her nails and arms dirty (and bloody) female yields satisfaction for devoted action fans that now offers sweet peppermint to lure the ladies into the mayheim. 

Pierre Morel, director of the 2008 classic “Taken", does not have much originality to instill into this mostly stereotypical genre offering, however, he has unusual camera angles and though the set up outcome is grim , the contrast between girl scout mom rivalry ("We should have punched her lights out") and her courtroom resistance to injustice fortify her as empathy sticking despite the gushing violence.