Within the last 24 hours, the trailer for PEACEMAKER (2022) has dropped and has been well received by fans and for good reason. It looks as funny as it does exciting, with James Gunn shifting a focus on the anti-hero character who somewhat personifies the whole concept of a trope or caricature; with a protagonist that is unintentionally self aware.
James Gunn’s version of SUICIDE SQUAD (2021) failed to create blockbuster traction despite the all star ensemble cast in its true popcorn romp, eyeing adults with its more mature humour; evidently John Cena’s role as the decidedly douche, Peacemaker (a clear antithesis to Captain America) was the clear standout of the film. Some of the bigger cast names were largely forgettable, whilst Cena shone as a flawed antihero with some excellent one liners, imposing physical presence and an ultimately affable personality. This upcoming HBO MAX series will reportedly explore the origins of this character, and the episodic format undoubtedly enables world building as well as expansive written dialogue. Along with the stunning Jennifer Holland, Cena is also joined by none other than Robert Patrick who is playing Peacemaker’s father! As a spin off to main cinematic film, the misadventures of this anti hero will no doubt be mandatory viewing only a month after the fourth season of ‘COBRA KAI’ (2021) strikes first in December.
In recent years, John Cena has proven to have completely transcended pro wrestling as a legitimate actor who has flexed more impressive thespian muscles than most of his contemporaries. The former NPC bodybuilding champ turned pro wrestler turned Hollywood actor, boasts far more versatility reaching beyond the action hero tropes that plague most sports entertainers with his genuine comedic pedigree. For the style and tone, James Gunn is perfectly apt to helm this series as his idiosyncratic style embracing experimentalism, self referential humour and a vibrant colour palate that always makes his films a visual treat. Undoubtedly, these attributes are evident in this upcoming series.
Additionally, Nordic glam metal band Wig Wam’s inclusion of ‘Do you want to taste it’ is indeed a fitting song choice – and myself being a fan of this band (and the glam metal genre), this was a further masterstroke of genius, given Peacemaker’s off kilter, gregarious personality.
For the longest time, I am one of the few movie critics that have derided the prospect of seeing Dwayne Johnson take up the mantle of Jack Burton in the long awaited ‘BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA’ remake/sequel. As talented as The Rock is, his interest in the iconic character essentially mocks what Gary Goldman, David Z. Weinstein and John Carpenter had intended with their 1986 fantasy comedy film. In his excellent retrospective of John Carpenter’s classic, British film maker Oliver Harper aptly referred to Jack Burton as ‘clumsy and arrogant’ – and these character traits are what made this deluded sidekick (who thinks he is the hero) become so endearing. Ideally, the remake should be headlined by Chris Pratt as Jack Burton – but alternatively, this critic asserts that John Cena would be perfect for the role. In what looks to be an exciting and hilarious series with PEACEMAKER, Cena demonstrates that equal parts imposing physicality that is juxtaposed against a very clumsy, yet well meaning doofus.
But I digress, PEACEMAKER looks sensational and will the perfect way to usher in 2022, not peacefully but rather with explosive certainty!