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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

On the Loose

Peppermint (2018) on IMDb

Plot Overview

It's night out on the roof level of an LA parking garage. A lone car is bouncing up and down like nobody's business. Inside, a man and woman have come to blows. He'd evidently been expecting a different kind of blow from her. She probes, “You don't remember me, do you?” This activity plays like some­thing from the #MeToo move­ment, only this guy is more likely to get tossed in the trunk than under the bus.

birthday partyFive years ago. A 35-year-old mother Riley North (Jennifer Garner) argues with her neighbor Peg over a parking space. For years Riley's troupe has used one end of the lot to sell their Fire­flies Christmas cookies and now Peg has encroached upon it. Riley is one tightly wound woman.

At home she negotiates with her husband Christopher (Jeff Hephner) to get him to preside over the first ½ hour of their daughter Carly (Cailey Fleming)'s birthday party while mom finishes her shift at the Second Commerce Bank. How­ever, her boss will insist she stay till, “You're closing.” She'd wanted the over­time, and now she's got it … her current protes­tations not­with­standing. This is one highly strung woman. She arrives home after dark to find no party in swing. Peg had upstaged her with their own party.

Their family of three opts for pizza out and the Christmas Carnival. Chris surreptitiously phones a pusher Mickey to beg out of a ten-minute lookout gig for “easy money.” Drug king­pin Diego Garcia (Juan Pablo Raba) catches Mickey hijacking his ship­ment and decides to make examples of his helpers, too. He stages a drive-by shooting of father and daughter, which mother witnesses. Only Riley survives.

Garcia's main shyster tries to buy Riley's silence with beaucoup dollars to set her right once she gets over it. He has seriously under­estimated her woe. As Harlan Coben has written about it, “the families of victims. ‘They're broken,’ [he'd been] told. … ‘shattered’ was more accurate. ‘Broken’ suggested some­thing clean and all the way through and fixable. But what happened to them was messier, more abstract, filled with shards and no hope of recovery” (148–9).

Come preliminary hearing of the suspected perps, Riley the sole witness is off her anti-psychotic & anti-depression meds., and when the court finds insufficient evidence to hold them, this psycho mom loses it, escapes from her psychiatric eval, goes off the grid for five years, learns cage fighting abroad, returns to LA, and proceeds to beat the stuffing out of one of those responsible in a car. And she's just getting started.


candy canesRiley's—“Peppermint's”—intense vendetta over loss of husband and child plays on, (Prov. 17:12) “Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly.” The popular support this wicked vigilante generates reflects on the whole­sale drug culture of LA, which is worse by comparison. How­ever, the foolishness of taking or trafficking drugs is not touched upon in this movie except for two specific instances that seem to direct one's attention elsewhere.

Carly's birthday was Dec. 21, winter solstice. The poor birthday girl not only had the regrettable competition with Christmas coming soon, but with solstice celebrations on her day itself. Christmas is such a hectic season that Riley's boss couldn't stay to close up the bank but left Riley in the lurch. What's a girl to do?

Yeah, but so what? Okay, but look at the end of the holiday season. Come January there's the celebration of Martin Luther King (MLK)'s birth­day on the third Monday. But in some southern states the birth­day of Robert E. Lee is also officially celebrated the third Monday of January. But nobody celebrates it just as nobody came to celebrate Carly's day. They're all celebrating the longest night of the year, or the black holiday as the case may be.

What's left for Lee's fans? Well, there are the memorials and monuments. Tourists and such can look up at the statues, eat a picnic lunch in their shadow, and have their pictures taken against an historical back­drop. Just as the Norths could look down from the Ferris wheel, eat the carny food, and have their picture taken in a booth. Fine.

Then some fools decided to mow down Chris even after he'd declined to cross the druggies, but they hadn't got the memo. Like­wise, some fools have been pulling down confederate statues even after Johnny Reb surrendered long ago. Go figure.

Let's not forget the date when the Soviets (used to) commemorate Vladimir Lenin (of pogrom infamy), January 21, which will be on MLK Day this year (2019.) After dissing Johnny Reb, the fools have now taken to kneeling for the national anthem, of the Union who defeated Johnny (and his slaves.) But the Union was set in place to defend against foreign powers, which the individual states lacked sufficient power to do. That fool at the beginning of the picture didn't expect a fight from a kneeling service, not the kind of fight that's traditionally done standing up.

Production Values

This action thriller, “” (2018) was directed by Pierre Morel. It was written by Chad St. John. It stars Jennifer Garner, John Gallagher Jr., and John Ortiz. Garner as Riley North gives a char­acter­istic­ally excellent action performance. Juan Pablo Raba playing the main villain has ice in his veins.

MPAA rated it R for strong violence and language through­out. It's a superb action drama that will not disappoint. The other­wise impeccable editing of Frédéric Thoraval is only marred by the slo mo lavished to a fault. Don't worry about the story interfering with the action, ain't gonna happen.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

This is one to keep the adrenaline pumping while maintaining sympathy for the main character despite her extra-legal means of retribution. It doesn't over­reach with illusions of invulnerability. Her charmed life is just icing on the cake for a woman who has nothing left to lose. Lots of action.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action-packed. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age Special effects: Well done special effects Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Coben, Harlan. Stay Close. New York: Penguin Group. 2012. Print.