Oddly symbolic of her own family disintegration, Jennifer Garner makes an attempt to show Ben Affleck what he gave up when he cheated on her with the nanny. “Peppermint” is truly the ultimate closure and a violent metaphor for the adage that hell truly hath no fury like a woman scorned. It’s a fun premise on the surface, and Garner is at her best when faced with combat action, but “Peppermint?” The title is nonsense while trying to be clever. “Soccer Mom Bloodbath” would be more appropriate.

Garner is Riley North, a happy wife and mother who is struggling financially and feeling the social pressures of the affluent stay-at-home mothers who pick on her. After a tragic drive-by-shooting, and the exposed corruption in the system, she sheds her meek, tolerant skin and transforms into a combination of Linda Hamilton and Steven Seagal. Five years later, a battle-hardened and combat-ready Riley returns to Los Angeles to exact her revenge on any and all people involved in her tragedy.

When Riley begins to disrupt business, the Garcia drug cartel digs in their heels and has to turn the slums of Los Angeles into a war zone, which the LAPD doesn’t want any part of. Heck, they are either scared of the cartel or corrupt themselves, so Riley is on her own. She’s the angel of death for her skid row family.

Director Pierre Morel (“Taken”) is to blame for most of the problems here. Sure, the writer (Chad St. John) has to take a little credit, but the director is always the final say. His admiration for Tony Scott is visible in nearly every scene through some flashy camerawork, but plot holes, absurd sequences, spineless characters, and derivative dialogue plague the film from the start. It’s the kind of revenge trope that you desperately want to get behind, but simply can’t. I laughed out loud several times, and couldn’t enjoy the carnage as much as I would have liked due to the insanely poor choices made by the director.

The antagonists are written in an inept, cliché, and quite simply stereotypical way. The Mexican gangsters are given little credibility for any common sense, from being unable to open a locked door to falling for the oldest trick in the book (talk too much, shoot too little). They look menacing with facial tattoos and military-grade weapons, but they are a dime a dozen. It’s simply 1980’s schlock action with a gender swap. Which isn’t to say it wasn’t a little bit fun, but I already saw this movie back when Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Van Damme, etc., played the role back in the 20th century. And Liam Neeson just a few years back.

As the body count piles up, she makes it look simply too easy. Like Schwarzenegger in “Commando,” she manages to waltz into a Mexican drug kingpin’s house and dispatch dozens of them without breaking a sweat (maybe she was sweating, but she was calmer than a Marine sniper). A team of Navy SEALs couldn’t execute a mission with this kind of precision. You get my point; it was a little bit unrealistic.

The film quickly escalates from a quirky revenge story to a full-on rampage in a matter of minutes, and there are unexplained subplots and underdeveloped characters galore. I regret to inform you that for the fourth or fifth week in a row, I simply can’t recommend a movie to the masses. “Peppermint” is not nearly as refreshing as its namesake. Skip this one and just rest assured that good films are on the way in October.