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Peacemaker Review

ngogia@adrizer.com'

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2022 | TV-MA | 5 hrs. 20 min.

I’ve always remained interested in James Gunn’s work, even before his big break with Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Whether it was his writing talents on the Scooby-Doo films or his uniquely directed Slither or Super, his work had always been enticing to me. In all honesty, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy were great films, but Gunn seemed a bit out of his element there. His work is always best when he’s allowed to do as he wishes. That is what made The Suicide Squad (2021) such a stroke of comedic genius. The Suicide Squad was a film full of lunatics going on killing sprees in an R-Rated, B-Movie that no one can do better than James Gunn! These people were doing whatever they wanted in a country that needed them as their last hope, and the absurdity of their situation was iconic. Admittedly, that is also what makes Peacemaker so fantastic.

The story takes place right after the events of The Suicide Squad (2021). Christopher Smith, aka Peacemaker, the so-called super-hero wakes up in the hospital after betraying and killing one of his friends for the sake of his Great American Nation. Chris is not normal because he was brought up by a racist criminal named The White Dragon and taught to be one of the most politically incorrect people in existence. That led Chris to be an incredibly intolerant, extremely rude, and overly patriotic American hero. He wears the colors of the USA flag on his costume to showcase his love for America, while blatantly murdering people for jaywalking. However, when a mysterious threat known as the Butterflies begin to circle the people of The United States, Chris must band together with a ragtag group of agents to save America.

James Gunn wrote the entire series within a short span of a month. Amazingly, he had this all planned out right after The Suicide Squad. If I think back to any time before Peacemaker, I would not think John Cena had the acting chops to carry this series. I’m proven wrong, as he does everything flawlessly in Peacemaker. Christopher Smith is such a complicated character, with a huge amount of childhood trauma that is holding him back from feeling any semblance of goodness within him. Due to this trauma, he’s unable to socialize well, or make any friends without offending or downright hurting them. His only pal is his pet eagle, who he’s aptly named as ‘Eagley’.

However, throughout his journey of mindless murder, a ton of slapstick, gore-filled comedy, and a surprising amount of emotion, he finds a group of people he can consider his true friends. The crew consists of Emilia Harcourt, analyst turned super-spy, John Economos, an old guy who puts hair color in his beard, Leota Adebayo, the daughter of Amanda Waller, and Adrian Chase, a vigilante who is just as bad as Peacemaker. Together, the 5 of them are up against an entire army of Butterflies who have holed up basically in the entirety of the country.

Peacemaker is a gut-busting comedy and has a ton of well-choreographed action to back it up. However, the true core of this series revolves entirely around the characters. These characters are highly absurd, yet based on some semblance of reality to make the viewers care for them nonetheless. It’s also the fact that these characters have constant struggles of their own that makes them likable. Adebayo struggles to keep herself away from danger while trying to keep a steady job, Economos has his insecurity and self-esteem issues, Peacemaker is an absolute mess, Vigilante enjoys killing a bit too much and Harcourt is the loneliest person in the world.

These are all characters that are portrayed to perfection by their respectable actors. The thing that makes this series so good is not just John Cena’s impeccable comedic timing and the rest of the cast’s supreme acting qualities. It is the fact that even the villains are entities you can sympathize with. The Butterflies have their internal motivations and pursuits that they are trying to achieve, and it’s a rollercoaster ride trying to see what’s going on!

It’s an incredibly well-paced series too, as it starts with a banger episode that sets the tone for the rest of the series. It then moves from larger set-piece episodes and smaller story-telling episodes that build upon where the characters will be going next. It’s also incredibly well written, with each joke in this series managing to land. It is an extremely funny show, and it observes humor in the same vein as It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. It features a mix of both extremely dark humor combined with some childish humor that is made funnier due to the absurdity of the characters’ situations.

The only two real gripes I have with this series is the cinematography and the music. It has some fantastic shots in every episode, and they make it stand out quite a lot in terms of aesthetic quality. However, most sequences feature repetitive shots, the same kind of washed-out color-grading, and some bland camera angles. They did not experiment much with the cinematic quality of the show. It does decrease the overall quality, but not to the extent of making the series feel any worse. It’s still a highly entertaining series, and you can see what’s going on for the most part on screen. As for the music, there are barely any memorable tunes in this series. They’re fun to listen to while the action is going on, but they simply act as background music, not really to elevate a scene’s quality.

Peacemaker is a series that is crafted with love. Each episode of this action/comedy show feels like the creators gave it their best. The amount of passion that the cast and crew have is exuding on the screen in each episode, and the conclusion to this brilliant series came as nothing but a welcome surprise. Sure, its quality is hindered a bit by the awkward quality of the camera work, though it is barely a problem. There will be a second season, and if the creators have the same amount of passion going into it, it will certainly be something to anticipate!

Rating The Film:

Visuals: 3.5/5

Plot 5/5

Characters: 5/5

Music: 2/5

Theme: 5/5

Seater Score: 4.1/5