Jennifer Garner’s ‘Peppermint’ gets scathing reviews: how problematic is this film?

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Jennifer Garner’s mom revenge movie, Peppermint, is out this week. The critics are trashing it, it has an abysmal 15% on Rotten Tomatoes as of press time, but the audience score is surprisingly high at 92%. It could be entertaining and it could do okay at the box office, which is what matters. It’s being called “ridiculous,” “cliched,” “mediocre” and more than that, “problematic.” The trailer raised alarm bells after showing Garner’s white character infiltrating an Hispanic neighborhood to gun down stereotypical gang members. It’s worse than that, according to many writers who saw the film. The bad guys are just straw men for Garner’s character to destroy, and they’re invariably people of color. What’s more is that it pushes a conservative agenda that brown people are baddies. I don’t need to tell you that we don’t need that narrative at this time. Here are segments from some reviews, with my favorite being Roxana Hadadi’s at Pajiba:

The obvious reality here is that this movie is less about Riley North as an avenging angel…. and more about her as a murderer of people of color, and how totally fine that is because somebody has to do it. It won’t be the police or federal law enforcement or the justice system but one formerly mild-mannered white lady who with some mixed martial arts training and the right kinds of weapons that she can buy totally legally is able to exterminate a problem no one else has the balls to. And that problem is Mexican men. – Pajiba

Garner has stated she was drawn to the film because it focused on a mother turned avenging angel. But what’s the message there? And what’s up with the bad guys being mostly tattooed Latinos without a trace of character distinction? Peppermint dissolves into a series of absurd sequences in which the goons basically line up so North can punch, stab, shoot or blow them up… After two hours of being barraged by this paint-by-numbers dreck, you’ll also feel dead inside. – Rolling Stone

All you really need to know about Peppermint can be gleaned from its title sequence, a hodgepodge of heavy-metal music, filters, and camera effects that would make more sense in a 2000s Simple Plan music video than they do here, in a film starring America’s sweetheart… Whatever moments of fun there are watching Garner infallibly tear through the ranks of the drug gang are canceled out by the movie’s lack of creativity and imagination. – EW

On the one hand, Jennifer Garner deserves far better. On the other, she cashed the check. – AV Club

[From Pajiba, Rolling Stone, EW and AV Club]

Everyone is talking about how inferior this is from director Pierre Morel (Taken, From Paris with Love) but writer Chad St. John’s main screenwriting credit is the clunker London Has Fallen. Garner chose to star in this despite these glaring problematic issues with the plot. It does focus on a white woman gunning down people of color. I’ve worked on plenty of projects that have ended up completely different than the initial specs, but usually there were clear warning signs. It’s possible she got sold on the mom idea and didn’t realize what the finished product would be. I know I’m being generous because she still has a lot of the public’s goodwill. Imagine if Scarlett Johansson took this role, would our reaction be different? Do you think Garner is even going to field questions about the ramifications of this movie’s message? It’s disappointing that Garner’s action film comeback to her roots is just a cliched mess. She’s dealing with a lot of that lately.

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Photos credit: Backgrid and WENN

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136 Responses to “Jennifer Garner’s ‘Peppermint’ gets scathing reviews: how problematic is this film?”

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  1. Basi says:

    Just watching the trailer to this movie all I see is “cheese ball mediocre actress”. Never mind horrible connotations involving white woman versus people of color.

    Skip! Won’t be seeing this.

    • Mia4s says:

      Apparently the bad guys operate out of a piñata factory. A piñata factory?!

      Racist much? Geez Jennifer Garner how desperate are you for film roles?

    • Dora says:

      I don’t know about the movie if it is good or not, it is depend from what someone wants to see I suppose. She had worked very hard for that movie as it seems from her body. 90 % of audience liked the film and Tomato gave 16%. 57 % of audience liked the Nun and Tomato gave 31 %. I didn’t understand how that is working but I am thinking to see these movies someday.

    • LahdidahBaby says:

      A piñata factory?!? It would be funny if it weren’t so f’ing offensive. Jesus.

    • minx says:

      Cheese ball is right. And what a horrible sounding movie.

    • DiegoInSF says:

      Saw the trailer once and thought racist mess. It will bomb at the box office.

    • Frida_K says:

      The white woman steps up and kills the vatos. Ah. How white of her.

      I’ll bet the white folks who are salivating over the death of Mollie Tibbets are peeing their pants with happiness over this movie.

      And me?

      Oh, I’ll just say a few swear words in Spanish and avoid this stupid movie.

  2. Corporatestepsister says:

    It is problematic in that she wants to be taken seriously as a working actress who can handle substantial roles. It also means that she is clearly not the box office star she thought this movie would make her into, which means that her martyrdom PR campaign hasn’t worked. PR goodwill doesn’t mean that a movie will be a hit and critics are not required to give her rave reviews because they sympathize with her personal situation.

  3. Rapunzel says:

    Garner herself is problematic AF. I don’t dislike her as a person. I think she’s probably very nice and a good mom. But the girl cheated on her first husband, left that lover for Ben Affleck, got pregnant with his baby to trap him into marrying her, and then basically refused to let him go even though every action he was engaging in was practically begging for a divorce. And then she had the Band-Aid baby with their last child, all while cleaning up and covering for every indiscretion that Ben engaged in with women, booze and possibly drugs. She’s a woman that trades on that white happy family, supermom, superwifeimage. She is the epitome really of the white female who voted for Trump (not saying that she actually did, just that his base is her audience). Of course she chose the star in this film. It’s the exact kind of dreck that the women who buy her People magazine covers will eat up.

    • Lindy says:

      This whole trap a man with pregnancy narrative is problematic. And really hateful and sexist. The movie may be terrible but really? Trapping men with babies sounds like some toxic men’s rights red pill nonsense.

      • Rapunzel says:

        But it’s long been reported that her pregnancy is the only reason he married her. She got pregnant to use it to get him down the aisle.

        I wouldn’t have said it except I thought it was established fact rather than sexist speculation? Maybe I’m wrong?

        Perhaps it was never actually proven? IDK because I haven’t followed the gossip long enough.

      • Jerusha says:

        Awww, Lindy doncha know that celebs ALWAYS get married because of a surprise pregnancy. Think of the shame if they don’t.

      • Rapunzel says:

        Jerusha… I never said that. I don’t think Ben married her to avoid the scandal of an out of wedlock pregnancy. I think he married her because she was having his kid and he wanted to try to do what was best for the child by committing himself to its mother.

      • Jerusha says:

        Rapunzel. I was being sarcastic because of the “trapped him into martiage” narrative. Even regular people no longer get married because of an unplanned pregnancy. I know plenty of them. And BC-condoms, the pill, iuds-fails sometimes. We don’t know anything about their decisions on children, so the constant finger pointing at Garner gets tiresome.
        I doubt I would have given him so many chances, but I’m not her.

      • Rapunzel says:

        Jerusha- I’d say there’s just as many people who wouldn’t get married due to pregnancy as would.

      • Lilly says:

        I get what you’re saying and the op. Trapped is a generalization and I think being a husband and family man fit the narrative that Ben wanted after JLo. Like “this worked for Matt.” Jennifer really crushed on him and the timing was to both their advantage imo. As for the movie? It’s a never see for me.

      • Ladygyms says:

        We live in a society that bullies women to be nice to men if not they are a bitches,so Jennifer Garner had no choice but to treat Ben Affleck nicely though he is not honest not supporting her but she had some tough decisions to make

      • Jailnurse says:

        I don’t think it’s hateful. There are plenty of women who use pregnancy for leverage and to manipulate men. Trap might not be the best word. Haven’t you ever seen that? I have plenty of times. That might not be politically correct but it’s reality.

    • Chaine says:

      Has any woman ever really set out to “trap” a man by getting pregnant outside of General Hospital and All My Children characters? I’m serious.

      • Rapunzel says:

        Yes. I sadly know some. I hate it because I honestly don’t want to buy into sexist tropes, but it does occur. At least in my experience, it does.

        There are females out there who make the rest of us look bad.

      • Jan90067 says:

        For every woman who tries to “trap” a man by getting pregnant, there is a man playing Russian Roulette by going “bareback”. So if she DOES try and get pregnant, he’s right there helping her along.

        Time to drop that misogynist line.

      • JeanGrey says:

        Umm, yeah. I’ve seen it happen when I was younger, sadly. Now that most of the people in my circle are and deal with other partners that are more mature and pretty much done with having kids, not anymore. But I do know of a few thirsty side chicks who got pregnant with another woman’s husband to drive a wedge between him and his wife and try to force a separation/divorce sooo. Yes, unfortunately it happens.

        But I do agree that these dudes allow it to happen and they share in the responsibility of it all going down in the first place.

      • Dora says:

        It is not a big deal if someone is married or not. Many times someone says that her pregnancy is the only reason he married her. Not only for Jenifer Garner but for a lot of women. This is a very old fashioned phrase and very funny for today. I believe in most marriage cases women have more responsibilities and more problems than men. Marriage is not the main purpose of a woman’s life and is not the ticket to the happiness.

      • Rapunzel says:

        I never said otherwise, Jan. And a guy choosing to go bareback doesn’t excuse a woman for intentionally letting him.

      • Esmom says:

        Yes. I have a former friend who did it not once but twice. With two different men. And it backfired both times. She and her now young adult children sadly are troubled individuals.

      • D says:

        YES THey have i know because a friend of minea stepmother #whatever claimed to be pregnant had a hissy fit told her Dad she’d go to hell being out of wedlock and then had the baby 11 MONTHS LATER,not overdue. so there now you know women can be toxic asses just as much as any Weinstein look at who they voted for in large numbers for President (a small segment that still Roams these halls) Jennifer Garner looking like one of them – at least is fine with being part of the racist narratives in our country right now , so of course I now wouldn’t put it past her, until today she had my sympathy and fandom after today shes gone the way of TayTay Ivanka and loads of white American women #conplicit and #cancelled

      • mk says:

        I thought about it once for about 5 seconds.

      • Tina says:

        “A guy choosing to go bareback doesn’t excuse a woman for intentionally letting him”? That’s a really appalling statement. Everyone is responsible for their own birth control. If you’re a guy and you want to be 99% sure you won’t make a baby, use a condom.

      • neocleo says:

        Yes, it happened to my first husband and was a good part of the impetus that drove us to divorce (we also had other problems but this was the icing.) He had a one night stand with her two months before we reunited and he asked me to marry him. He was stupid and she was not on birth control so there you have it. She thought that when he learned of her pregnancy he would marry her and when she found out about me it got really ugly. 10 months into our marriage we were paying punishing lawyer and court fees. Ultimately we ended up paying $1200 a month in child support. It was a terrible mess and of all of us, I felt the most for the child.

    • Clare says:

      Your comment is problematic AF. Stop peddling this woman hating narrative of women trapping men with babies. It’s disguting, and shameful.

      And no, it hasn’t been ‘proven’. How would it be short of her saying as much?

      Maybe if you aren’t 100% of something don’t use it to belittle and attack a woman in this hateful and misogynist way.

      So dissapointed that women do this to each other.

      • Rapunzel says:

        I suppose maybe I am letting my own experiences color my reaction. I’m honestly not trying to be sexist…

        I thought Kevin Smith had confirmed Ben told him he felt pressured and that the pregnancy was unexpected? I suppose that’s not really strong evidence though.

        But really, Ben just gotten out of an engagement to J-lo that ended because he was caught fingering a stripper. He wasn’t worth sleeping with let alone marrying. And having kids with. And staying with him as long as she did.

        I just think Garner made us many intentionally bad choices as Ben has.

    • Shijel says:

      ….so you dislike her as a person. You know you could’ve just left it at that instead of launching into this sexist little rant about band-aid babies and refusing to grant a poor begging man a divorce after trapping him with her uterus where Ben and his vices flailed fruitlessly like a broken-winged butterfly in the web of a white widow, never responsible for his choices, which include marrying her.

      • Rapunzel says:

        I never said Ben wasn’t responsible. But he’s cheated and had additional addiction issues before and throughout their marriage. Jen chose to have more kids with him, and actively participated in selling him as Mr. Good guy. Why is it sexist to point out her complicity? And band aid babies are a thing. Many women think having more children will save a marriage.

        I’m beginning to think maybe I’m just surrounded by too many women who are in fact these sexist tropes come to life. Some women really are like this…I never said all were.

      • Killjoy says:

        I don’t even doubt that Garner has some very Southern, traditional principles that might have caused her to think she should marry Affleck if she got pregnant unexpectedly. But Affleck KNEW her vibe when he struck up a relationship with her, and if he disagreed that they should get married, he could have pulled a Tom Brady. Not saying that’s a great look, but it’s better and more honest than the alternative. And if that left Garner a newly single mom, when single motherhood wasn’t something she wanted, THAT would have been on her (assuming Affleck provided the agreed-upon financial and parental support to the child). If I had to speculate, I’d say that given that Affleck had been engaged, then effed it up, he might have seen a future with Garner as a way to have a fresh start and that family he wanted to have.

        But uuuugh these sexist tropes. If we acknowledge that some women have done, and will continue to try to force relationships where there shouldn’t be one otherwise, then we need to acknowledge there are some very worthless men who aren’t the captains of their own godd*mn ships in any sense. Wrap it up, be honest, support your kids, make your own choices.

        And in that vein, as much as I wanted a revival of Alias days, at this level, Garner should have been savvy enough to at least hire someone to screen her projects with PR in mind. Given how PR-savvy she is, I can only assume she was on board with the implications of this film. Agree that she is likely not a Trumpist, but doesn’t mind if her base is full of Trumpists.

      • Jerusha says:

        Killjoy. JG stumped for Hillary.

      • Rapunzel says:

        I agree killjoy. I’m not trying to say Ben isn’t his own sort of messy. And that he hasn’t contributed to the issues in their marriage . It’s just this is a Jennifer Garner post so I was trying not to talk about his problems.

    • Happy_fat_mama says:

      It’s difficult to really know anyone’s reason for becoming a parent, because people often have more than one reason or maybe they baby was a surprise. Perhaps the problem here is the racism in this movie. How can white women and mothers be better allies? As a white woman this is an important question to me.

    • Beth says:

      Did she force him to have sex without protection and marry her? No. If a man doesn’t want to be “trapped ” into a marriage because the woman gets pregnant, he could always use protection, keep his pants on, or just not get married. She didn’t “trap” Ben, their relationship just went like lots of other couples do.

    • Prettykrazee says:

      I agree she is problematic. But let’s not act like Ben isn’t just as problematic. He did leave a fiancé the weekend there were supposed to be married. And decided to create a narrative that the very public life he lead with her was not his doing. Cmon now, she didn’t ‘trap’ Ben by getting pregnant. It takes two people to make a baby. Ben could have easily prevented a pregnancy, if he wanted to. The gossip I heard is that he didn’t really want to marry her even though she was pregnant. And his people persuaded him to bc it would be bad for his image. Especially after the fact he basically already left a woman at the alter and leaving a pregnant woman would pretty much destroy his image. The image that Garner was repairing.

      • Sunrise says:

        This pretty much sums it up, it was all about image for the both of them. Use to like her but not now this movie is a whole lot of racist garbage. Garner is your typical wealthy white woman who would only notice her movie is racist after reading the movie reviews. She is probably hoping this movie will be her big comeback to A list movie roles, at 45 that ship sailed long ago.

      • Mel says:

        They are both messy, women do things for odd/crazy/messed up reasons and men do things for odd/crazy/messed up reasons.

    • Corporatestepsister says:

      I think he biggest mistake is marketing herself as a perky goofball who plays to the media way too much and wants to be America’s Sweetheart too badly and it’s obvious how she tries SO HARD all the time.

    • Millenial says:

      I don’t think she “trapped” him — as others are saying, it takes two to get pregnant. I’m of the opinion that Ben has always wanted the best of both worlds — to have the family and appear to be a doting dad, but also keep up a DL playboy lifestyle with strippers and side chicks. He was probably fine with getting married, in the sense that he would have married any nice lady that came along and had his babies, but neither Ben nor Jen were completely honest with themselves about his issues.

    • Sayrah says:

      Puke, she got pregnant. She didn’t force him to do anything. They made 2 more children together. I guess he’s just some victim. Nice

      • Rapunzel says:

        Of course it takes two. I never said that it didn’t. I just meant that she probably wanted to get pregnant. That she didn’t do anything to avoid it. And she didn’t encourage him to do anything to avoid it.

        Of course he could have done something to avoid it. But he didn’t. All I’m saying is that when she ended up pregnant I think she use that as leverage to get him down the aisle. And she was probably trying to get that leverage when they were dating.

        I kinda think that saying “it takes two” just infantilizes women by acting as if men are equally responsible for what happens to a woman’s body. No they aren’t. A woman needs to be responsible for her own reproductive choices and the fact that a man needs to be responsible for his own reproductive choices doesn’t change that.

        Women say they want the right to control their bodies with access to contraception and abortion. So why is it when a woman gets pregnant we say “well it wouldn’t happen without the man”? The whole idea that contraception is a shared responsibility is nonsense really. It should be everyone’s individual responsibility to take their own contraceptive choices seriously. I don’t have children because it is my choice. I don’t need a man to do his part. No woman should need a man to do his part to avoid pregnancy. If you don’t want children as a woman then that should be what you make happen. That’s part and parcel to having freedom over your own body.

        How can women have free reproductive choice if wer’re always saying it takes two?

      • Tina says:

        We have no idea what she encouraged him to do, or didn’t encourage him to do, in respect of birth control. She was responsible for her birth control and he was responsible for his. Presumably the subsequent children were planned, but we have no idea whether she planned to get pregnant the first time. Birth control methods are not 100% infallible and it is entirely possible that the baby was conceived despite using birth control. The only thing we know is that she chose to keep the baby. That is her decision, and hers alone, because she is the one giving birth. But both parties have equal ability to choose to use, or not to use, birth control.

    • lucy2 says:

      “got pregnant with his baby to trap him into marrying her”

      Ooof. Talk about problematic.

    • ncw says:

      Rapunzel:

      I agree with your assessment of Garner. I’m happy someone else said it.

  4. Smee says:

    idk, after she read the script having her commit murder and take vengeance into her own hands a good Christian wouldn’t likely get involved with this film

  5. Jay says:

    I don’t care what she’s dealing with, it doesn’t give her a pass for this.

    • LahdidahBaby says:

      I have to agree.

      • Carrie says:

        Yeah. I don’t know if the script called for the specifics as it ended up but as a professional at her level, she should’ve taken pains to be professional in what she’ll associate with and put her name to etc.

        She’s not as smart as she likes to think. And she’s too old plus a parent now to be trading on her looks and being “nice”, which is just manipulation on her part anyway.

  6. adastraperaspera says:

    I’m so tired of movies that show guns as the only answer to solving problems.

  7. Tania says:

    I was planning on going to see this after work today, but now I won’t. I can’t. I usually always support women in films but not at the expense of giving it box office revenue for gunning down my fellow Indigenous North Americans. I’ll now just go home, try on my new pair of Nike running shoes and take them out for a run. The crazy Nike commercial inspired me to not be my lazy self and get out there and just do it.

    • Ib says:

      Tania you are awesome and your run is going to be awesome -even if it doesn’t feel that way, I think so! Go get em!

  8. Renee2 says:

    Every single actor cannot comment on every single issue but I think that it is telling that she has not commented on any of the pressing issues if the day. Even her estranged husband has, and he is problematic as f. I think that it didn’t register for her because she just didn’t care.

  9. Heather says:

    The problem with Peppermint is it’s so illogical and unnecessary.

    There’s a huge social inequality with men of colour being disproportionately penalised for even minor crimes, and with the criminal justice system reinforcing white male privilege and the culture of entitlement. I have so many posh white friends who would think nothing of lighting up a joint in public, for example, because they know without even consciously thinking about it that their privilege protects them. And that’s without even talking about other areas of the criminal justice system that privilege (white) men, such as sex crimes.

    And it’s so easily fixable! (The movie, not social problems.) If they’d simply changed the casting so it was a woman (better, a WoC — how many nice suburban middle class WoC characters do you see in movies?) turning avenging angel to take down a load of upper/middle class white men it would have instantly become revolutionary and a true and important social commentary on the intersection of race and gender; privilege, entitlement, and justice.

    • Rapunzel says:

      What the film really should’ve been was a white woman dealing with what would actually be more likely in reality.

      A white woman like peppermint is more likely to have her child killed by some fellow white woman yoga instructor who got drunk and hit the child with her car. What would peppermint do then? That would be a thoughtful movie. Seeing vengeance being taken on normal people would really give nuance to the vigilante discussion.

      Or what if Peppermint’s child was killed by accidentally shooting himself with the gun his father had in the closet? Or a classmate who brought guns to school and committed a shooting spree? Wouldn’t that make for an interesting discussion of guns and their place in society?

      Garner would probably never sign on to such a film though because it would not be appealing to the masses that she wants to be adored by.

      • paddingtonjr says:

        Great suggestions! I would see one of those movies mentioned. I don’t have anything for/against Jennifer Garner, but from the reviews and trailers, this just looked like a white person revenge fantasy against POCs, substituting an white woman for a white man. But adding in the twist of normal people on both sides having to deal with tragedy and revenge would be intriguing.

      • Patty says:

        I love everything you said Rapunzel! I hate movies like this because it feeds into this false narrative that the world is a dangerous place for whites and feeds into our gun culture. Truth is most crime is committed by people you know and it’s almost always intraracial; it’s why I hate the term black on black crime. Your scenarios are much more realistic but white people probably wouldn’t cheer on a yoga mom killing other yoga and soccer moms; on the other hand people of color are rarely portrayed sympathetically in movies or in real life so of course people would cheer on some white lady killing a bunch of brown folks. We are always ordered. Makes me sick to my stomach.

      • Alisha says:

        @Rapunzel and after the school shooting, she takes on the Alex Jones cult and the NRA. I would pay to watch that. Sadly, most of America would not. Hence why the current script.

      • Killjoy says:

        I love these ideas. When i heard about this movie, I immediately thought of Enough – where a WoC mama takes on an abusive ex. So much more realistic, not so problematic, even inspiring. And we still got to see a strong woman kick ass! And it wasn’t just out-gunning her opponent, like is apparently happening here.

        Also, Tully is a recent movie with a white mama…SPOILER….and she ends up being her own worst enemy. Given the proliferation of “wine moms” this is probably a million times more realistic for white ladies than minorities giving them sh*t. FFS.

        ETA: I didn’t mean to be glib about the issues in Tully, just trying to avoid too many spoilers. :)

      • Rapunzel says:

        Killjoy, and of course Enough was a movie starring Jennifer Lopez. Interesting given her connection to Ben.

      • Wilma says:

        I read an interview with David Simon of The Wire recently wherein he talked about how unrealistic shows like NCIS are because the victims are always white and rich in those shows whereas in reality victims mostly are poor and often POC.
        I don’t think Jennifer Garner is evil, but she is very, very much a white woman who is living a insular life in many ways. It’s pretty much possible that she didn’t register what is problematic in this script and that is very problematic on its own.

      • Killjoy says:

        Wilma – Yessss, so much this. I read a little more about synopsis and understand that Garner’s character is motivated after the justice system lets her down after the killing of two of her family members. While I understand that this is a plot device in a lot of action flicks, I am just struck by the fact that in real life, it is women of color who are victims who are consistently let down by actual apathy in police departments. I worked at a DA’s office, and sometimes our WoC DV victims would tell us that when the police actually responded to their calls, they would laugh in their faces.

        I really was a closet JG fan since her Alias days, but this movie is enraging.

    • Ms Petit says:

      I’m pretty excited to see Viola Davis and Michelle Rodriguez as protagonists avenging their husbands deaths in Widows.

  10. Marie says:

    It’s really problematic. Death Wish problematic. Maybe worse actually.

    She shouldn’t get a pass for this. It’s incredibly gross.

  11. Veronica S. says:

    Ugh, that’s a shame. i was actually looking forward to it as a ridiculously over-the-top revenge action flick. Why would *anybody* think that was a good idea in this climate?

  12. Mego says:

    I watched the trailer and when the tattooed latina bad guys showed up I winced. Just feeds into Trumps “illegal immigrants are rapists”campaign comments and every other damaging racist stereotype out there.

  13. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I’ve never sat through her acting because….salt-free saltine. I am, however, ‘schadenfreuding’ all over the place.

  14. Lala11_7 says:

    When I saw the commercial for this tripe, I could NOT BELIEVE the Producers actually got together in this day and age and said…”THIS WILL BE A GREAT IDEA!!!” That means that the Producers/Director/Star are OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY AND LAZY AS HEYLL!!!!

    • DragonWise says:

      Agreed. It’s extremely telling that this got made right now. Even being extraordinarily generous and assuming it was caught in development hell for a while beforehand, the fact that they actually filmed it and pushed it on the public as some sort of empowerment tale is so problematic, it’s radioactive. It’s insane that literally no one stopped this.

    • Ms. Turtle says:

      53% of white women voted for Trump. I remind myself of this statistic daily. So yeah, no wonder producers think this crap is going to sell. I can’t stand any movie where a child is murdered, so it was always gonna be a hard pass for me, but the stereotypes in the trailer are sickening. I only hope that the character also goes after the corrupt white judge too.

  15. Tiffany says:

    Or……she the script and saw that this crap will finally get her the BO return that she so desperately needs so she will not be regulated to roles where she plays the wife or understanding mother, upset the Latino community (or offending any non white) be damned. She wants to be a movie star and there is nothing wrong with that. Those Capital One checks are not going to last forever.

  16. Darla says:

    This sounds incredibly disgusting. I cannot believe she did this. I was rooting for her! Before she Afflecked up, I really thought she could easily become an action movie star. The Harrison Ford of women. Coming off of Alias, she could have done that. Back then, we didn’t have wonder woman or katniss, etc. And when I saw she was doing an action movie now, I thought, wow, that’s great she is going to pick up where she left off. But i had NO idea what the plot was. This makes me sick and absolutely changes my feelings about her.

    • StormsMama says:

      Daria
      You are so right!!
      She could’ve been the Harrison Ford
      Of this generations action
      Revenge
      Etc
      Films
      She could have done it all

  17. ada88 says:

    Pierre Morel didn’t direct John Wick. Chad Stahelski and David Leitch directed that film. Morel is most famous for the TAKEN films. I think there have been many comparisons to John Wick in the reviews because they are both films about revenge.

    • Celebitchy says:

      I’ll fix that thanks for the clarification. Edit – damn Taken is about all he’s directed.

    • FF says:

      No offence but – and I feel compelled to say this btw – only a casual viewer would mistake anything in TAKEN for anything in JOHN WICK. The former has ton of ridiculous cuts and edits to give the illusion of frenetic action. The JOHN WICK films have long action, full-body takes where you can see Keanu is doing a lot of his own stunts.

      The TAKEN films are horrid and xenophobic and I’m not surprised that that guy made this. I mean, Taken 3 took 14 camera cuts in 6 seconds just to show Liam Neeson jumping damn a fence. They are NOT equivalent beyond older guy with guns shoot people.

      Sorry, had to vent. Not at anyone in particular – just about how horrible that TAKEN series is.

  18. Shannon says:

    Def. problematic af, but wouldn’t this fall on the casting director? If these bad dudes were minor parts with no character distinction, just dudes there for her to kick ass on, would she even have known? Of course, she could have said something once she realized. But I’m not sure how much sway she would have had – I honestly don’t know how movie set politics work lol. But yeah, I’ll skip this one.

    • Tiffany says:

      The casting director is doing their job by taking orders from the higher ups. So….no.

    • Mia4s says:

      The bad guys’ hideout is apparently a piñata factory. A piñata factory!! That would have been in the script. She, and they, all new exactly what they were doing. And it’s gross in the times we live in.

  19. Jess says:

    I loved her on alias so wanted to like this but the racist gang member problems were obvious from the first trailer on. Really gross. Shame on her and the producers and writers and director.

    • lucy2 says:

      Agreed. I think she really wanted a return to those glory days, and I think she is good as an action star, but my God, this was NOT the vehicle for that. How do you read that script and not think “wait a second, this is a racist hot mess”?
      I don’t blame her for wanting a comeback, and I’d be happy to watch her kick butt in other stuff, but I do blame her for taking this role. Gross.

  20. Carey says:

    I’m Latina and in this political climate this film is literally life-threatening to me and my family. Every single person involved in this mess should be ashamed of themselves. But they won’t be. Welcome to Trump’s America.

    • FF says:

      That’s exactly why I don’t forgive her doing this film. It’s reckless endangerment in the current political climate, and tone-deaf, dog-whistling bs outside it.

      There are a lot of actioners she could have accepted that would have been cool but she picks this and the Lena Dunham thing?

      This woman coasts on both the public’s goodwill and the public’s unwillingness to believe the worst about her even when she shows out. That’s why she made this film because she knew she could give a sidelong wink to her base and get away with it. Next one will be a rom-com to smooth over any ruffled feathers and people will fall for it.

      How is this different from that smirking woman and her white supremacy “secret” hand signals?

  21. DS9 says:

    I don’t but the narrative that Jennifer Garner trapped Ben into those babies. I guarantee you Ben had to know that if there was a pregnancy, Jennifer would keep and and want a walk down the aisle to go with it. He knew the score.

    On the other hand, she had to know the score as well when she decided to have and keep having babies with a mai’m who lacks self awareness and has a problematic relationship with substances and fidelity.

    The issue as I see it is they both thought family life would solve his problems when they damned well should have known it wouldn’t.

    So I don’t feel bad for either

    • Corporatestepsister says:

      She got pregnant, it takes two to tango, which means that she should be using BIRTH CONTROL, like most responsible women do. She has never had any excuse not to protect herself and look after her own well being. If Ben hadn’t married her, she would be the mother of an out of wedlock kid, which wouldn’t go over well with her ‘good Garner girl’ image she has peddled since day one.

    • Killjoy says:

      Imagine:
      Jen: I’m pregnant, let’s get married.
      Ben: Whoa! Okay, lmk what you want to do about the baby here. I’m not ready to get married now. Would this be a bad time to tell you I’ve been seeing other women?
      Jen: Holy sh*t, you a**hole.
      Ben: IKR?

      • Julie says:

        The only thing is that Ben had just trashed Jennifer Lopez and abandoned her before their wedding. Also, the press was already rooting for Garner and him to get together and once they did everyone wanted him to marry the nice White women and not the crazy Puerto Rican girl he blamed for his media issues and bad behavior. J.Lo herself said in interview (she also debunked that he left her at the altar but that’s probably debatable) that she told Ben “Forget about the press and the magazines…do WE want to do this? Are WE really going to do this?” And he just couldn’t but I feel it hints at him caring very much about what people think and his image and not the truth or what he wants.

        The incident about him denying the slave-owning ancestor is further proof of this. I think Garner exploited this facet of his personality or psyche…maybe not in a calculated way but definitely instinctually. Neither was careful but he was coming out of the aforementioned situation and they were older. They could chalk it up to destiny but they needed to wait a little. Garner definitely had to think this through and not be so competitive and selfish. She believed she was good or better for him and that she could take care of Ben and at the same time finally have her dream marriage and family, and the media and their industry supported her in this delusion because of some underlying prejudice. Everything everyone is saying here about her film and insular privilege life is spot on!

        She can’t take it isn’t real and Ben probably can’t live with himself because if he could do it over again he’d probably make different choices in general and man up with all the women and exes in his life. Maybe then he wouldn’t be so sullen and spiraling in his addiction.

      • Killjoy says:

        Julie – I meant for my hypothetical to be what Ben *should* have said if he didn’t want to get married. If he felt he had to for appearances — whether or not JG consciously or subconsciously was exploiting that — that’s a problem of his own making, and means he was using her just as much as she would theoretically be using him.

        ETA: Basically, we don’t know either of their motivations for getting married. Lots of people are optimistic about settling down and starting families. It could have been innocent enough, seemed like a good idea at the time. They *both* had a history of infidelity and sh*tty behavior. However, this sexist trope of the woman trapping the man is tired. Particularly where the motivation for Ben to clean up his image was just as high. Imagine….Jen gets pregnant, Ben, desperate not to look like even more of an a**hole, convinces her to get married so he can clean up his image. We know JG was to a certain level dickmatized or trying to keep the family together, but we really don’t know the dynamics much beyond that, or her motivations.

        ETA2: But thanks to Peppermint, I think we can agree now that they are both not awesome people.

      • ravynrobyn says:

        @KILLJOY–”IKR?” DEAD 😵

  22. Layday says:

    Full disclosure I don’t like Jennifer Garner, and never have. She may be a good mom, but I will never give her a pass for peddling this insular narrative that she is a perpetuation of the All-American girl narrative so she must have this happy nuclear All-American family. We weren’t buying it in the 50s and we certainly not being it in this day and age. There is something so disingenuous about how she went from happy homemaker to wounded victim and now she has to position herself in Act 3 as strong fearless Jen who is going it alone. Um that seat is taken by the other Jen girlfriend. You don’t get to build yourself back up on the backs of minorities. Period.

    I said in the trailer post that this movie looked terrible and I’m glad critics are trashing it. I hope it flops, but she has enough women buying into her tropes it might do ok. With that being said, I’m tired of people acting like it’s a zero sums game with Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck. Like you either on one side or the other. Um I’m team no one because I dislike both of them. He’s a crappy disingenuous person(his history is well documented on this site) and she’s not too far behind him (albeit for different reasons). People falling over themselves to feel sorry for her, what’s that saying about you lay in bed with fleas? She pursued him, period. It’s not like he spontaneously showed up from Mars with no baggage. She knew his deal and went all-in. Worst when Rome was burning on their marriage she was shilling the there’s nothing to see here narrative. So long story short, she’s not a victim. I know in some circles around here Jen is on the verge of being nominated for sainthood so those may be fighting words but it is what it is.

    • Corporatestepsister says:

      I never bought her happier than ever image; she’s the kind of woman who wants to be a child as much as possible, for as long as possible. Not facing reality is part of that childishness.

      Jen wasn’t shipped in from some convent to serve in an arranged marriage and I am certain that she wasn’t a virgin when she slept with Ben. She was in the industry for years and I am certain that she got up to all sorts of shenanigans on her own.

    • Julie says:

      I agree 100% with you! But I think she’s worse than Ben if that’s possible because she has no addiction issues (that we know of) while she actively enabled him and lied to maintain their image (like you have mentioned). You summed it up pretty perfectly!

      • D says:

        Did Jennifer Garner also sexually harass/grope people?

        Or is that one of the things Ben is less culpable for because of the addiction issues?

  23. Nacho_friend says:

    It’s her ego that made her do a shit movie, she is so wealthy she doesn’t have to work as an actress, but she wanted to star in a movie

  24. Avery says:

    I liked JG since Alias. I saw her really stomping and getting out the vote for Hillary. How can you then turn around and do a movie like this and not see the blatant racism? It is disgusting. It is lazy and dangerous. I am so disappointed because at the end of the day I think this speaks volumes about who she really is.

    • Grant says:

      I’m with you–I had forgotten how much she worked to drum up support for Hillary during Hillary’s campaign. It makes stuff like this all the more confusing. I was really rooting for her, I think Jennifer Garner makes a great action star.

  25. neocleo says:

    NOT. INTERESTED.

  26. Corporatestepsister says:

    I think she’s behind the times and she’s also been in the general media too much. She clearly over marketed herself and it’s backfired with her in the area of dealing with the critics. As for the times we live in, she got that wrong too. As we all know, Mexicans are not in fact the enemy that we need to be paranoid about.

  27. Ana says:

    JG is just winging it, her film career. Her choices are laughable. She takes roles that will only take her away from home for 2 weeks the most. Or, if the movie is here in LA. With that, she gets movies which are as good as her…lame movies. She should really just quit altogether because you can’t make good movies if you don’t take your craft seriously. Willing to go on locations for weeks at a time. So I would say she is not only dumb in choosing her roles but also lazy.

    • lucy2 says:

      I don’t have any problem with her taking “lame” movies if they allow her to have the work/life balance she wants.
      But I do have a problem her doing a movie that is blatantly racist.

    • Corporatestepsister says:

      I don’t think she gets good offers for roles. I don’t think she gets offered quality projects.

    • Ana says:

      Lucy, I agree with your point. But that is her problem…she has no strong convictions. Stand up for some social issues.

      I was rooting for her but got frustrated with her career choices.

      • Corporatestepsister says:

        I think her script choices are not all that good and I think she is so addicted to her good girl image and I believe that she doesn’t want to give that up, even onscreen.

        Plus her constant presence in the media is irritating as well. It’s likely that the press and critics have gotten fed up all the time.

  28. Who ARE These People? says:

    NOTHING about this movie appeals to me. Also, it seems as if Hollywood thinks that putting a woman instead of a man into a stupid, violent, racist, gun-filled action movie is a major plot twist. It is not a plot twist: The movie remains stupid, violent, racist and filled with guns.

  29. Happy21 says:

    I’ve only seen the trailer so don’t know about the problematic aspect because I didn’t notice. It does not look good BUT it got me excited for some chick ass kicking action because Hollywood lacks that and there is nothing I like better than watching a woman kick some ass. However, I don’t like the idea of it being POC because well no. So I will not watch it. Too bad it had to go there.

  30. Heather says:

    One of my best friends online back in LiveJournal days was heavily into Alias fandom, so I used to see all the debates and flame wars going on in that fandom via her blog.

    Back in the day JG was a hugely controversial person because she cheated on her first husband with her Alias co-star (who was in a serious relationship) and divorced her husband to be with him, amid lots of very negative claims and gossip. Then she cheated on and ultimately left her new partner for Ben. A lot of people left the fandom because they perceived her as being a cheat who broke up relationships and used and discarded men once someone more famous came along.

    Obviously there is a lot of misogyny wrapped up in this, but the point is JG didn’t always have a sweetheart, soccer mom image.

    • FF says:

      I remember some of that LJ fandom flaming and if I remember correctly – according to some Alias fans’ claim – she got Vaughan bounced off the show before the end of the series because she said he was creating tension whenever Ben came to set, or something. And a lot of people dropped her and the show because of it.

      Can’t say I know if that was true or not because I never followed her or the show but I came across enough disgruntled fans comments to hear about it, and remember thinking Vaughan still looked shellshocked in pictures even a year after the show ended.

  31. minx says:

    She should go to television if she wants to keep acting. She just doesn’t have the chops to get good movie roles.

    • Sigh... says:

      Yeah, she’s like Biel. They have very little presence/importance in the roles they occupy when on the BIG screen. Garner’s movie roles could be played by ANY white, middle-aged, “nice/unassuming” lady after “13 going on 30.” “Juno,” “Dallas Buyer’s Club,” all the other “(concerned/Christian) mom/wife” roles are clearly quick paycheck extentions of her VERY CAREFULLY CRAFTED off-screen persona.

      Biel has rediscovered relevance and success with “The Sinner,” cuz THAT’S where she (and Garner) do their best: small screen, small projects, behind-the-scenes (product and hire herself, again, like Biel). I *think* Garner does have an upcoming cable series, so…

      • Killjoy says:

        I skimmed the reviews, and FWIW, many actually thought Garner was quite good here despite the terrible film.

        I’m so annoyed with her though that my criticism of her is not that she doesn’t have the chops, but does anyone really need to see another pretty white lady in these roles? It’s 2018, and I’m optimistic we’re moving towards more diversity in our leading ladies. RIP Alias.

      • JoJo says:

        I never thought she had any significant acting chops. She’s good in limited types of role (13 Going on 30 always stands out). Unfortunately, to me anyway, her looks also don’t lend themselves to an actor completely transforming themselves for a role. She always just seems like “Jennifer Garner in a movie”, regardless of what the movie is. To me, a lot of the recent excitement around her – if it can be called that – seems to stem more from public goodwill around her wholesome mom image and her marital/divorce drama than her actual acting chops. It’s almost as if some are looking at her exclusively through a “she deserves this after all the sh** she’s been through” lens. Sure, but that still doesn’t make her a great actress.

      • Corporatestepsister says:

        I think she’s over exposed and people are just tired of her. She’s gone about marketing herself the wrong way.

  32. perplexed says:

    Does she kill every Mexican man she meets in the movie? Or does she kill only the ones she that have criminal records? (Not that the latter is any better — the trailer does appear problematic). Does she kill any white people at all?

  33. Bug says:

    Wow. She must be a complete dumbass if she didn’t immediately see the racism in this project. Or a racist.

    • Corporatestepsister says:

      I don’t think she’s someone who is bold enough to take real risks and basically try a role that will require her to stay out of the tabloid spotlight and actually focus on honing her skills into putting in a genuinely memorable performance.

      Her addiction to the limelight is really undermining the ability to see her as someone who is bankable as an actress and someone that can be relied on to put in a good performance. No way is she going to end up being believable if she doesn’t stop the relentless self marketing.

      One thing to stay in the press, but her personal life is a bigger story than the movies she stars in.

  34. Nicole says:

    The absolute vitriol for Jennifer makes me sad. guess the only good action film these days… would be? Only white people getting killed bc they are the only bad guys? It’s curious that this site that I grow to love each day with different points of views has such hatred for what seems like a decent woman. And such respect for other celebrities who seem very hard not remotely close to put their kids first. Ughhh. Sorry for the rant

  35. Emma says:

    Super excited to see this one tonight — loved her in Alias as an action star!!!

  36. Carolnr says:

    @AnotherdayAnother
    Totally agree!

  37. Mia4s says:

    They don’t get a pass? Not anymore anyway. I’ve seen Mel Gibson’s not yet released movie already getting dragged. Oh and the Bruce Willis Death Wish got dragged for its gun fetish (although that one did manage to diversify its bad guys and try for social satire, though it was awful). John Wick was violent as hell, but not racist. Sure I know there are dozens of male led movies like this, but recently? Give me other examples in say, the last three years?

    She basically did a movie that feels grossly dated and people are waking up. Bad timing. Tough luck.

  38. Killjoy says:

    Yep, she deserves the hate for this, but people were excited for Sicario 2, even though the original was decried as racist and terrible by the mayor of Juarez.

    ETA: FWIW, I saw the first one, and it is a somewhat good movie. Definitely problematic flicks get more of a pass if they are of a better quality.

    ETA2: Okay, I’m looking at the critical reviews for Sicario 2. I think it’s fair to point out problematic movies starring men are still getting more of a pass. It gets a 63% on Rotten Tomatoes, despite lines in the Atlantic such as: “It’d be offensive enough if the sequel were flat-out cartoonish, but the film seems utterly convinced of its own verisimilitude—a delusion that doesn’t deserve to be indulged at such a sensitive political moment. This is a movie that only proposes violence, coercion, and drone strikes as the solution to its conflicts, while treating the U.S.–Mexico border as some kind of lawless lost cause. Day of the Soldado would be hard to stomach at any time. It feels particularly worthless now.”

  39. BorderMollie says:

    Actually, I’ve seen the opposite. Otherwise ‘problematic’ material casts a white woman instead of a man and producers/writers expect a pass for racism, imperialism, prejudice etc. because it’s supposedly empowering.

    Heck, you see this in real life. Lots of military ads feature ‘empowered’ women playing the role of oppressor, like that makes it all more palpable or something.

  40. Mia4s says:

    I haven’t seen the Jack Ryan series and I’m not very interested as I have seen it called out for being misogynistic, racist, and using a transphobic slur, on various sites. And yes the high ratings are because people enjoyed watching it (which…well). Peppermint will likely get a fairly high audience rating too. And also selective or not, if the movie is racist garbage it deserves to get called out, whether or not some other titles slip by.

  41. Corporatestepsister says:

    Maybe everyone is tired of her; she’s been in the press as a super victim and I do believe that she is experiencing the same backlash that all overexposed stars experience. People are sick of her in the same way that people got sick of Jennifer Lopez when Gigli came out. Overexposure, too much in the tabloids, etc.