‘Peacemaker’ Review: James Gunn’s HBO Max Show Soars Like an Eagle

Though increasingly shaky, John Cena knows there’s never a wrong time to hit the ground running in this spin-off of “The Suicide Squad.”

To tell James GunnMaking a movie based on music is like saying that the DC cinematic universe fits within Batman – both claims are true and both are true. words below. The writer/director behind the two “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies, as well as “The Suicide Squad” and “Super” (the latter feels like the best fit for his latest project, “People of Peace”), Gunn has a little more ear for good soundtracks. His first MCU collaboration revolved around the lead’s lifelong attachment to “Amazing Mix” (Episode 1). His Monday predicts a boss battle (literally) centered around a dancing Baby Groot. And in his first DC Comics movie, Gunn introduced a violent opening sequence with a musical, playing Jim Carroll Band’s “People Who Died” shortly after a suicide squad was killed in a tragic way. brutally, unintentionally, so that others could use distraction and enter enemy territory undetected.

The stark dissimilarity between reliance on melodious montage and a character so compelling that he can barely lift his left legs serves as an early warning sign for “Peacemaker”, of Gunn HBO Max spinoff led by frills star John Cena. Don’t get me wrong: Anyone who has worked this long and is successful in WWE knows how to move their bodies, but part of the essence of the typical hero – as evidenced by his supporting role in “The Suicide Squad” – which seems to include some sort of solidified machine that mirrors those who consider cutting apart a shame; High school catches people who will nod half a beat at prom or try to start a game of mosh pit, instead of letting the trench get to them.

How did Gunn’s style and Peacemaker’s omission come together into one violent, conflicting, and inconsistent superhero story? For one, the creator depicts his main character as an action figure – curving his dense physique for maximum entertainment, even as he accepts the inherent inelasticity of Peacemaker, aka Christopher Smith. (Courage to choreographer Charissa-Lee Barton and battle choreographer Allen Jo for finding the iconic moves of this very strange man.) great number of), but Cena’s dedication to his character’s unfiltered enthusiasm also proves contagious. By starting the series with metal bands and hardcore songs (characters’ lifelong favorites), Gunn’s “Peacemaker” is truly musical and it moves beautifully. surprising.

HBO Max Danielle Brooks Peacemaker Jennifer Holland

Danielle Brooks and Jennifer Holland in “Peacemaker”

Courtesy of HBO Max

Catch up with the movie’s brief synopsis – where Peacemaker betrays his team, kills Joel Kinnaman’s Rick Flag, gets shot in the neck by Idris Elba’s Bloodsport, and is generally huge “Douchebag” – the premiere episode quickly reorients viewers to this new protagonist. Where there was once a gypsy killer, more obsessed with looking cool than doing the right thing, now there’s a broken man on the run. Haunted by Flag’s last words (“Peacemaker: What a Joke.”), Christopher is also immediately challenged about his penchant for killing people of color by Jamil (Rizwan Manji). , a janitor at a hospital with a relationship with a self-proclaimed superhero patient on a pharmaceutical business, is now legit. Instead of dismissing his new friend’s condemnation, Christopher promises to “kill more whites” – this isn’t exactly an answer, but shows his willingness to change.

For the most part, his softening works. (Having a friend beside a pet never hurts, and the eagle “Eagly” hit his mark.) Peacemaker still says stupid, insulting things. He is sexist, racist and a bully. All of these traits are played for laughs, and many of them are brushed off by another character that asserts he’s actually a good guy on the inside. However, “Peacemaker” shows just enough awareness of the leader’s reprehensible behavior to avoid being criticized too much for their pie-eating and pie-eating. (His much worse dad raises a compelling question about intergenerational racism and what needs to be done to overcome the sins of our primary educators – adding a bit about that). error after it has been condemned and then still repeated. Chris can’t just promise to be better; he had to get over it.

But that doesn’t mean he’s a good guy. Like “The Suicide Squad,” “Peacemaker” takes a moment to learn the sometimes blurred line between hero and villain. Christopher is constantly ridiculed when he claims to be a superhero. He was repeatedly unable to name a “team of superheroes” with which he was fighting. His best friend, Vigilante (very good Freddie Stroma), is often used as a sign of Peacemaker’s growing morals; The ninja-like sidekick is so dedicated to their old way of doing things, he can get a little flustered when suddenly Chris doesn’t want to shoot anyone their way. However, the most intriguing theme of the series is not the good guys versus the bad guys; that’s how bad behavior is learned, especially passed from parent to child.

Peacemaker John Cena Robert Patrick HBO Max series

Robert Patrcik and John Cena in “Peacemaker”

Courtesy of HBO Max

Robert Patrick plays Christopher’s truly terrible father, Auggie, a deep-rooted state conspiracy theorist and white supremacist who has nothing but hatred in his heart for his child. son is working for the government. Originally, Auggie was used to emphasize Chris’ better qualities – as if to say, “If you think Peacemaker is bad, look at his dad!” — but their relationship develops into a darker story of how damaging trust can be in isolation. (Villain dads could be the key to Gunn’s superhero stories.) click.) Only when Christopher becomes part of a team – recruited by Clemson Murn (Chukwudi Iwuji), a subordinate of Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller, to assassinate mysterious figures posing a threat to America – then he began to know the first way. His father’s ideology can be hurt, and how easily it becomes part of his personality. (The theme is also reflected by new team member Leota, played by Danielle Brooks, whose vision of herself is clouded by the way her mother sees her.)

“Peacemaker” takes a little breath as it continues. The structure could have been better, the points sharper, and its dialogue honed even more. (Sometimes it feels like Gunn creates logical gaps just to write a way out of them with jokes, when it’s better to avoid the holes in the first place.) But Gunn’s creative indifference. combined with his unique adjustability. Peacemaker’s musical frequency makes for an engaging first few episodes and lasts long enough to keep you curious how it all plays out. When you first look at the title sequence’s choreographed choreography routine (set to “Do You Wanna Taste It?” Wig Wam’s Contagious), you might be more surprised than impressed. But by the seventh episode, you’ll get up from your seat, swinging your arms as if on hinges, trying to memorize every step. “Peacemaker” isn’t perfect, but it follows the beat of its own drum, and that’s enough.

Grade B

“Peacemaker” premieres three episodes on Thursday, January 13 on HBO Max. A new episode will be released every week until the finale on February 17.

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https://www.indiewire.com/2022/01/peacemaker-review-hbo-max-james-gunn-1234689873/ ‘Peacemaker’ Review: James Gunn’s HBO Max Show Soars Like an Eagle

Aila Slisco

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