Film and Plot Synopsis
In Peppermint, Riley North is your average ordinary wife and mother until a horrible tragedy forever changes her life and goals. After the criminal justice system fails to give her justice, Riley spends five years training herself to be a lethal assassin. Now, on the five year anniversary of her tragedy, she is back to seek revenge against everyone who she feels wronged her and her family. However, when a bloodbath erupts in Los Angeles, the world wonders if Riley North is a criminal or hero.
‘Peppermint’ Movie Summary
December 21st is Carly’s birthday, and no one shows up to her party since Riley got into an argument with one of the other mom’s in the neighborhood. Riley and Chris decide to take their disappointed daughter out for pizza and the Christmas carnival to celebrate instead. Garcia is aware of the plan to rob him and sends out his men to retaliate. Garcia’s men follow the family to the carnival and commit a drive by shooting which kills Carly and Chris and severally wounds Riley.
Riley awakes from a coma a month later. She is interviewed by the lead detective on the case, Stan Carmichael (John Gallagher Jr.). She is able to identify the killers, and do so at a line up. A lawyer who works for Garcia visits Riley prior to a court hearing and unsuccessfully tries to bribe her. Meanwhile, Carmichael is warned not to pursue the case too aggressively since Garcia killed the last detective who tried to investigate him.
At the preliminary hearing, the killers’ attorney impeaches Riley with the fact that she has been prescribed anti-psychotic medication to cast doubt on her account of the events. The judge, who is on Garcia’s payroll, dismisses the case against all three killers for lack of probable cause. Riley is outraged and charges at the perpetrators in the courtroom. She is tazed by court security and taken into custody. The judge orders Riley to be held at the psychiatric ward. However, Riley escapes, assaulting Carmichael in the process, and disappears.
Five years later, Riley has returned to Los Angeles after traveling the world. She kills the three gunmen and hangs their bodies from the Ferris wheel at the carnival grounds. Carmichael and his partner Detective Moises Beltran (John Ortiz) are assigned to the case. Carmichael is now a borderline alcoholic. The two detectives are contacted by FBI agent Lisa Inman (Annie Ilonzeh) who informs them that she believes Riley is responsible for the murders. She tells them that the FBI has been trying to arrest Riley for five years. Riley stole money from her own bank before she disappeared five years prior. She provides the detectives with information that Riley has spent the last five years turning herself into a lethal killer.
Meanwhile, Riley kills the judge who dismissed her case by blowing him and his house up. She previously has killed the defense and prosecution attorneys. Riley returns to her van on Skid Row where she has been living. The other people living on the street do not turn her into police because she has been protecting them since she came back to the United States three months before. Law enforcement decides to take her picture public after the judge’s death. Riley is heralded as a hero on social media due to her tragic back story and her choice of victims.
Riley goes to a business that launders Garcia’s drug money and kills most of the men in the building. She allows Garcia’s accountant to live to let Garcia know she is coming. She burns all of Garcia’s drug money. Garcia realizes that Riley is responsible for a series of drug shipments that have gone missing which have gotten the drug lord into trouble with the cartel. He sets a trap for Riley at one of drug processing buildings, which Riley barely survives. Riley follows the men who tried to kill her back to Garcia’s house and kills most of the men there. She almost kills Garcia, but is distracted by Garcia’s daughter who reminds her of Carly. The drug lord and Riley both escape before police arrive.
Meanwhile, Inman figures out where Riley is hiding on Skid Row. She verifies her theory when she finds Riley’s van with a large supply of weapons in it. She calls Carmichael who comes down to the slum. He kills Inman and contacts Garcia to let him know where he can find Riley. Carmichael is on the take now.
Riley returns to Skid Row and finds it covered in Garcia’s men. She kills several of Garcia’s men and finds Inman’s body and cellphone. She uses the FBI Agent’s cellphone to broadcast a video on social media letting the world know where she is, who Garcia is, and that Carmichael is on the take. The video is seen by Detective Beltran and the rest of the LAPD, who respond to the scene in force.
Riley surrenders herself to Garcia after he threatens to kill some of the kids living on Skid Row. Garcia beats her severely, but knocks her into the trash can that Carmichael dumped the gun that he killed Inman with. When the police arrive, Garcia kills Carmichael and tries to get away. Riley chases after him and disarms him. She is surrounded by police who tell her drop her gun and to not shoot the drug lord. Garcia boasts that he will do less time in prison than her, so Riley shoots him in the head. The police fire and hit Riley, but she is still able to get away in the confusion. However, Beltran knows where to find her and goes to the grave sites of her daughter and husband.
Beltran finds her there, severely wounded. He arrests her and has her taken to the hospital despite Riley’s wish to die. Beltran visits her a few days later while she lies handcuffed to a hospital bed recuperating. Beltran tells her that many police officers support what she did, and leaves after squeezing her hand. Once the detective leaves, Riley looks into her hand and finds a key to her handcuffs.