Peppermint [2018] ★★

I left the theater wondering if this movie should have been a TV series instead. There is enough material here to fill out a 10-episode Netflix show, which makes the movie itself feel oddly unfinished. But at least I can start on a positive note: Jennifer Garner is well-cast as a mother who witnesses the murder of her husband and daughter. When the system fails to give her justice, she decides to track down the killers herself. Sounds like a pulse-pounding action thriller. On paper. Sadly, her character is massively underwritten, and we barely get to see her transition from everyday mom to a “vigilante” on the loose. There are so many good ideas hidden somewhere in this mediocre revenge tale that I couldn’t help but wonder if Garner deserves better than the final result. It’s frustrating watching her pretend to be in a better movie. And “Peppermint” could have been much better. Unfortunately, it dissolves into an average action movie that would probably go down easier from the comfort of your own couch.

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