Reel Reviews: Sticking Points

By on September 12, 2018


I’m not often goaded into seeing a movie, but it did only take slight provocation from a friend to get me to cough up cash to see “Peppermint.” I could have cared less about this film coming to theatres, and was set on seeing “The Nun” … because I’m a homer for horror flicks. In the end “The Nun” easily snagged first place from “Crazy Rich Asians” at the box office over the weekend and “Peppermint” left a bad taste in the mouths of some as it settled for third.

“Peppermint leaves a trace of slime that’s hard to wipe up-and leaves the feeling that it would be better for the world at large if this movie hadn’t been made,” wrote Richard Brody of the New Yorker.

Yes, at points this movie can be that bad. The story — that of a revenge-soaked mother turned angel vigilante — is full of holes. This Swiss cheese tale forces the viewer to imagine a house mom whose husband and daughter were gunned down in gang violence and returns to gratuitously murder men by the score.

And before anyone gets up in arms over the bashing of a strong female role in an action flick, take this from AP critic Lindsey Bahr: “’Peppermint’ is not some model of equality, it’s just violent escapism that happens to have a woman in the lead role.”

Why didn’t I want to see this movie? I think Jennifer Garner is massively overrated. I think people fell in love with her in TV’s “Alias” and give her a pass on the big screen. I love “Draft Day” as much as the next Cleveland Browns fan, but her film roles are less than memorable.

So, here I am still waiting for “Venom” releasing on Oct. 5.

Sir Ben Kinsley plays the role of Nazi Adolf Eichmann in the historical drama “Operation Finale,” now in theatres

‘Operation Finale’

Israeli spies, led by Peter Malkin (Oscar Isaac, who plays Poe Dameron in the Star Wars franchise) work against time to find and capture Adolf Eichmann (Ben Kingsley), one of the integral Nazi components behind the Holocaust in “Operation Finale.” Eichmann is hiding in Argentina in the 1960s and, in this true story, he is brought to trial for his crimes against humanity, but not before the spies endure a deluge of mental abuse, near catastrophes on their mission, and a superficial strain on their relationships.

Because of the nature of the story it’s tough to say something negative about “Operation Finale,” but I just wish this story was given more justice by including better acting and driving suspense from a well written script. Like the people staring at the screen in front of it, this movie just sits there. At times it is beautifully appealing to the eye, but it never captures enough of the scene in which it is set.

It is engaging as Malkin and Eichmann form some kind of twisted relationship, but it never feels quite real as it juxtaposes other weak interpersonal interactions, which we grow to care nothing about. The story itself is amazing, it just doesn’t translate well to the big screen in this incarnation. (Maybe the book “Eichmann in My Hands,” by Peter Z. Malkin and Harry Stein, tells the story better.)

“Operation Finale” simply lacks depth in a movie poised to penetrate the deepest parts of our soul. I shouldn’t have expected more from director Chris Weitz, the man who brought us “American Pie,” “The Twilight Saga: New Moon,” and destroyed “The Golden Compass.”

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