It’s hard to reconcile with a character who has done something so despicable in an early appearance but kudos to The Suicide Squad director James Gunn for his attempt to do just that with HBO Max’s latest original series The Peacemaker.
Synopsis: The Peacemaker follows the events of The Suicide Squad where John Cena’s character Christopher Smith aka The Peacemaker is found to have survived a supposedly fatal gunshot wound to the neck and the subsequent collapse of the building he was in. This time around, he is offered the same deal to work for the government in exchange for his freedom, but he is now under the command of Agent Murn (Chukwudi Iwuji), and his team composed of Hardcourt (Jennifer Holland), Economos (Steve Agee) and new recruit Leota Adbayo (Danielle Brooks). He also gets unsolicited aid from his supposed best friend Vigilante (Freddie Stroma) and his pet eagle Eagley.
James Gunn uses his magic to craft a redemption arc for The Peacemaker after he killed beloved character Rick Flag from The Suicide Squad film. The effort is evident in the first three episodes, when audiences are introduced to his racist and misogynist dad.
There are also attempts to make John Cena funny, which to his credit, he fully commits to. However, all this awkward bumbling does not seem to be enough just yet for audiences to forget his grave sin in the movie, and so far, there are still no extraordinarily redeeming qualities that has yet cropped up in the first three episodes, except his distaste at having to kill off kids. There also seems to a disconnect with his efficiency from the movie to the time he was fighting off the first Butterfly and fleeing from the apartment building.
I liked his sidekick The Vigilante and his flippant approach to murdering criminals. I also loved Eagley. He had such sass for an animal. As for the team, they still need to work (a lot) on their teamwork and dynamics if they will do justice to James Gunn’s brand of humor.
Anyway, three episodes is still too early to weigh in on The Peacemaker, but plotwise, it seems to be going somewhere. There’s also a very stylistic approach to the series and a really cool soundtrack so I’ll stick around some more until I make my final decision.