Peacemaker Premiere Review


His show is finally here! James Gunn’s new twisted masterpiece has come to HBO MAX and it’s one of the most enjoyable superhero shows I’ve watched in quite a while.

Peacemaker stars John Cena as Peacemaker, Danielle Brooks as Leota Adebayo, Jennifer Holland as Emilia Harcourt, Chukwudi Iwuji as Clemson Murn, Steve Agee as John Economos, Robert Patrick as Auggie Smith/White Dragon, and Freddie Stroma as Adrian Chase/Vigilante.

First off, minor spoilers ahead but none that reveal too much about the plot or anything important. Most just points for character breakdowns and funny moments I heard and wrote down.

The DCEU was what renewed my interest in comic book entertainment last year as I started to lose interest after I saw Avengers: Endgame. While I did like The Snyder Cut, The Suicide Squad was the DC film and comic book film I was most excited for in 2021. Boy did it deliver, and Cena’s Peacemaker was part of why I enjoyed the film so much. I love a good villain, especially one as funny and backwards as Peacemaker. After what happened in the movie, I was really interested to see how they’d make DC’s Star Spangled Douchebag a likable protagonist.

Peacemaker danced right into my heart and then hip tossed me into a new world of action and depravity. A raunchy thrill ride to the tune of 80s rock music that kept the show going at an energetic pace. The action is fun, the characters are great, and it might just be the best DC thing Warner Bros has put out since The Suicide Squad. At this point I’d say I like both Peacemaker and The Suicide Squad about equally.

Pardon my language, now and at other parts of the review, but this show is fucking bananas. If you thought Deadpool was the pinnacle of R-Rated superhero comedies, then you are gonna be pulverized by the jokes and antics in Peacemaker. The words that came out of Peacemaker’s mouth are so shocking at times that I had to pause the show and process what he said. You know, like when you hear someone say something really messed up and you have to put your hands over your mouth and think to yourself “my god, they really did just say that,” and then you continue watching to see what they will say next? Good, I’m glad I’m not the only one who does that. 

All kinds of humor are present in Peacemaker, everything from well-written jokes to slapstick to the occasional appearance of comical nudity. There’s a moment in episode three where Adebayo accidentally shows a nude she got from her wife to Peacemaker that I thought was particularly funny, specifically because of Peacemaker’s reaction. Even the titles of the episodes are kinda funny.

Peacemaker himself is very much not a good person. He’s like if Captain America was a self-centered, homicidal, unhinged dick. But even still, deep down under his tighty whities (and what could possibly be the best superhero physique I’ve seen just yet), Peacemaker is a soft-hearted man who is just trying to be a good guy in the way he thinks is best. John Cena is able to deliver every joke flawlessly and show a good range of emotion. He also ugly cries like a pro to the tune of “Don’t Treat Me Bad” by Firehouse.

Unfortunately for Peacemaker, the way he fights for good gets him roped back into working for a new A.R.G.U.S. team that wants him to kill possible threats to the US-of-A, codenamed “Butterflies.” Not to mention a one-sided borderline stalkery friendship with Vigilante, a killer more unhinged than Peacemaker himself. The new team get Peacemaker to work for them by not so kindly reminding him that he still has a bomb in his head.

Project Butterfly is a fun group of characters. John Economos and Emilia Harcourt return from The Suicide Squad and both have to deal with Peacemaker’s antics. Economos is emotionally worn down with constant bullying and Harcourt gets hit with some absolutely deplorable, disgusting flirting. The leader, Mr. Murm, is a former mercenary trying to atone for his past. It definitely seems like he’s hiding something too, like he knows more than he’s letting on. The last teammate, Leota Adebayo, is new to black ops/spy stuff and is the most sympathetic towards Peacemaker, even though he also grosses her out. She has a big secret of her own, one that is kept from the team but known to the audience.

The “Butterflies” are the main antagonists of the series. I don’t want to say too much about them but I will say they are everywhere and could be anyone. Some even have the power and influence to hire D-Level supervillains like Judomaster, who put up a surprisingly good fight against both Peacemaker and Vigilante. He’s so skilled he even makes a Flamin Hot Cheeto look deadly. Okay maybe not deadly but at least he could hit you hard enough with one that it would leave a red dusted bruise.

Vigilante is a nitwit, a man so needy for Peacemaker’s attention that he will follow him everywhere he goes and blow up his phone with a million phone calls. He is also a deadshot with a gun and even more okay with killing anybody and anyone who is bad, no matter how big or mild the crime. There’s a moment where Peacemaker and a housewife he hooks up with are having some post-coital weed and Vigilante whines about how he wishes pot was still illegal so he could still kill potheads. It’s silly stuff like that which makes Vigilante kind of charming. Also if Vigilante wanted to keep killing potheads, he could just move to Nebraska or Florida.

Peacemaker’s dad, alt-righter and white supremacist Auggie “White Dragon” Smith, is even more of a piece of shit than Peacemaker. While people might assume Peacemaker is racist, his dad actually is. There’s a moment where he calls an Asian-American detective “Egg Foo Young” and I think about that at least once an hour. Like god damn bro, he really just said that. His dad is also very verbally abusive to him, constantly pointing out how he thinks Peacemaker is weak and worthless. Still, his dad helps Peacemaker by making him special helmets and taking care of Peacemaker’s most prized possession, Eagly, while Peacemaker was stuck in prison.

Overall I’d say that this premiere is a smash hit. If you have a chance to watch it, do take it. The soundtrack to the show is also fun, and can be found on Spotify. At some point during Episode 2, Peacemaker makes fun of Economos by saying “you are so fucked up, it’s adorable,” and I gotta say, I can’t think of a more perfect way to sum up this show and every character in it. I’m excited to see where this show goes and what bonkers situation Peacemaker gets stuck in next.

Ep.1 A Whole New Whirled: 9.1/10, Ep.2 Best Friends, For Never: 9.2/10, Ep.3 Better Goff Dead: 9/10

JulianVHayden Avatar

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