Jennifer Garner’s much-anticipated film ” Peppermint” opens on Monday, with much fanfare and also quite a bit of hypocrisy.
The film features the story of Riley North, a mother and wife who awakens from a coma after surviving an attack that resulted in the deaths of her beloved husband and daughter. Bereaved, Riley fights for justice through the court system. When it fails, she vows to avenge her loved ones on her own. As one might expect from the former “Alias” star, Garner becomes a one-woman force for justice through guns, explosives, knives, and more. So far, the movie hasn’t garnered many great reviews. A Forbes writer said it was “ugly, incoherent and problematic.” But it might do well with fans who like Garner’s action-flick style.
Regardless, the plot is both easy to empathize with (I guess) and confusing: Any loving mother could understand how Riley might have felt under the circumstances and how the need for vengeance would be so strong she might want to take care of the killers herself. (“Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” and all.) But I’ll be hard-pressed to understand or empathize with actors who believe one thing in their personal lives, yet do another in their careers — especially as it relates to gun control. In 2012 Garner appeared in a video with other Hollywood stars advocating gun control, despite the fact that she and her estranged husband both appear in multiple shows and films using guns.
It’s not surprising to see another Hollywood celebrity supporting self-defense and vigilante justice with firearms and other weapons as they demand politicians support gun control, asking people to give up their right to self-defense. Hollywood’s bottom line is always the bottom line. If it makes money they’ll bend the rules. Fans and moviegoers should understand the greatest hypocrisy at play here isn’t about how double-minded Hollywood can be. It’s about the fact that guns do play a significant role in society — and a good one at that. In the wrong hands, guns can hurt, maim, and destroy. In the right hands, guns can protect, defend, and exact justice (though I wouldn’t recommend that).
Nicole Russell (@russell_nm) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner’ s Beltway Confidential blog. She is a journalist who previously worked in Republican politics in Minnesota.