Number of episodes: 8.
Release Date: 2022.
ORIGINAL NETWORK: HBO MAX.
Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Comedy.
Series Direction By: James Gunn (5 episodes), Brad Anderson (1 episode), Jody Hill (1 episode) & Rosemary Rodriguez (1 episode).
Writer: James Gunn (8 episodes)
Cast: John Cena, Danielle Brooks, Freddie Stroma, Chukwudi Iwuji, Jennifer Holland, Steve Agee, Robert Patrick, and many more!
My Overall Rating:
With the release of The Suicide Squad (2021), a soft reboot of the DCEU movie originally released under the direction of David Ayer back in 2016, the first DCEU TV series and spin-off was officially announced with director James Gunn helming the project as its unequivocal showrunner. Putting John Cena back in action for another wild nutty ride as Christopher Smith, also known as Peacemaker, he looked to further explore the character’s conflicted, odd, and troubling past while shining a bright light on John Cena’s unique strengths as an actor. Upon breaking viewership records on HBO Max with its season 1 finale, a second season was confirmed and will have all of its episodes written and directed by James Gunn once again.
What is Peacemaker (2022) Season 1 about? Set after the events in The Suicide Squad (2021), Christopher Smith wakes up from the injuries he sustained against Bloodsport and returns home wondering if this is what freedom tastes like. Unfortunately for him, a mysterious A.R.G.U.S. black ops squad enters his life and blackmails him into joining forces for a brand new operation: Project Butterfly. While Project Starfish still lingers within his mind, the latest threat that needs to be neutralized is nothing that he could have ever predicted. However, if freedom is what he wants, he has no other choice but to comply and tag along on this mission, hoping that he could give peace and not more bad news for humanity.
If viewers were amazed by showrunner James Gunn’s approach in The Suicide Squad (2021), then this spin-off starring one of the characters that stole the show (or should I say movie?) will be right up their lane. Maintaining the zany, cynical, darkly comical, and brutal universe presented in the movie, this first season of Peacemaker brilliantly paces and develops the character’s story by enveloping the perfect ragtag group of misfits around him as their collective goal to demystify Project Butterfly and stop whatever evil might be at the heart of it all bring them all closer together, looking beyond each other’s flaws to embrace happiness through the little moments of insanity. Meticulously interspersing action, drama, and comedy in a cohesive trinity, the show effortlessly builds the various relationships between these characters while steering the story to a tangible finish line, capped by countless revelations, both individual and universal.
Where actor John Cena’s acting skills would normally be a weak point under other directors, he finds a match in heaven with his role as Christopher Smith/Peacemaker with director James Gunn’s material and understanding of the character’s and actor’s strengths. From troubled childhood with unresolved father issues to his misguided pacifism with the use of extreme violence as a means to attain a full measure of peace, the character’s depth in this show is brilliantly explored and exposed as he confronts his traumas and faces interrelational challenges. Alongside John Cena, the rest of the black ops team also shine in their respective roles, from the tech geek to the fearsome kick-ass chick, offering unique opportunities for entertaining banter and individual life trials. However, a surprise performance by Freddie Stroma as Adrian Chase/Vigilante gives this first season the perfect side-kick/partner to Peacemaker with his inappropriate, psychopathic, goofy, and silly nature, elevating the overall enjoyment of this season to unexpected levels.
Requiring very few special effects, except for a very special little eagle and a cow in the finale (you’ll just have to watch the show to find out what that’s all about), the show benefits greatly from its editing and score. Knowing showrunner James Gunn’s love for music and his clever integration of it into previous screenplays, expect some new discoveries within the hair metal subgenre, adequately chosen to capture the protagonist’s own weird taste in music, mostly composed by Clint Mansell and Kevin Kiner. A special mention should also be made regarding the title sequence where the main cast performs a ridiculous yet ingenious dancing choreography, mostly to stop viewers from pressing the skip button, that really sets the tone for the show and captures its darkly comedic take on vigilantism right from the get-go.
Peacemaker (2022) Season 1 is an excitingly entertaining and incessantly profane adventure sending Christopher Smith on a mysterious black ops mission known as “Project Butterfly”.