Spoilers need to put their eagle on a leash.
I’m really not in the mood for superhero shows. If you’re the same, you can rest easy. This ain’t one. The mythos is already broken by the time this series begins. Regardless of John Cena’s wrestling persona, or because of it, he’s willing to ridicule himself to the point that you can’t help but pity him a little bit. As it happens, this show does have a political angle (come back here, give it a chance). As a spinoff of Suicide Squad (2021) and created by James Gunn, it does focus on being entertaining first. The main vehicles of DC’s franchise should take note.
Peacemaker (2022) was created by James Gunn. Christopher Smith is Peacemaker (John Cena), the pseudo-hero that ended up as the villain at the end of the movie. He’s somehow recovered from what should’ve been a fatal injury and discharged without facing any legal consequences. The catch is that he has to work with a new outfit that includes newcomer Leota Adebayo (Danielle Brooks), tech head Economos (Steve Agee), special agent Harcourt (Jennifer Holland) and is headed by Murn (Chukwudi Iwuji). Peacemaker also will have to put up with his self-declared bff Vigilante (Freddie Stroma) and his over-the-top racist father August Smith (Robert Patrick).
To say you should expect some irreverence is to undersell this one. The show is quick to point out that Peacemaker does not start by regretting his actions, but he’s definitely going through something. If that something is a long path to redemption, you’ll need to keep watching. Contrary to usual superhero vehicles, this is far from an origin story and not easily obvious from the beginning. It’s safe to say there might be more to Peacemaker, but the same is true for a lot of characters around him.
Performance wise, John Cena does a great job as the title character. Danielle Brooks’ Leota tends to steal the show. She’s got some great lines, but also brings in a brighter personality into the mix. I will let you discover the rest of characters for yourself. Expect some easter eggs and cameos here and there. There’s a lot of cringe, there’s some raunchy humour and, of course, a lot of violence. It’s definitely a mature way to look at immature and irresponsible behaviour.
Strongly recommended. Yes, it’s not perfect but you’ll find it doesn’t really concern itself with taking things seriously and brings in some serious entertainment value. It should be obvious it’s not a family film, and some casual audiences might get thrown by the tone. There is a political message that I feel it doesn’t get preachy, but someone still might. Casual audiences might find it raunchy and/or violent. Very much worth a watch.
That will do for now.