Do you miss the good old “Death Wish” days when Charles Bronson took the law into his own hands and meted out vigilante justice against all manner of bad guys? Well, Jennifer Garner essentially has stepped into Bronson’s shoes in the new thriller, “Peppermint.” Garner plays a woman whose husband and daughter are killed by an LA drug gang. When the justice system lets them all off the hook, Jen goes into full-fledged super ninja mode and wreaks horrible vengeance on everyone who wronged her. “Peppermint” is a violent wish-fulfillment fantasy that stretches credibility to the limit. If you can get past the movie’s regressive social elements and borderline racism, then this might be your cup of peppermint tea.
I was really rooting for the new family drama, “God Bless the Broken Road.” This faith-based feature from the folks who gave us “God is Not Dead,” tells the story of a young woman, played by Lindsay Pulsipher, whose life is upended and faith sorely tested when her soldier husband is killed in Afghanistan. Although its heart is in the right place, the plot is riddled with clichés and the dialogue is hokey. Plus, Jordin Sparks, Robin Givens and LaDanian Tomlinson are completely wasted in supporting roles. And its connection to the great song “God Bless the Broken Road” is tenuous at best.
Also opening this week, “The Nun” is the latest entry in the “Conjuring” horror film series. This time out, a priest and a young novitiate are sent to investigate some violent episodes at a remote Romanian abbey. “Dark Money” is a documentary about the surge of anonymous political spending in America today. “What Keeps You Alive” is a horror entry about a lesbian couple, a house in the woods and a strange neighbor.