John Cena is unexpectedly vulnerable as glam-metal-loving killing machine Peacemaker.
Peacemaker sets out its stall right from the start. The opening credits, set to the brash riffing of Norwegian glam metal band Wig Wam’s uber-catchy Do Ya Wanna Taste It, are unexpected and very funny. But when the initial amusement wears off, you have to ask yourself: is this joke going to wear thin?
Peacemaker is a new 8-episode series premiering tomorrow, Thursday Feb. 13 on HBO Max. It’s based on DC Comics characters, but it isn’t like any other superhero show on TV. In fact, it’s a spin-off from last year’s scabrous and outrageous movie The Suicide Squad. Written by the same guy, James Gunn, the show expands on the film’s foul-mouthed and unrepentantly trashy action with eight episodes of cursing, stadium rock and body horror all wrapped around a surprisingly affecting character-driven drama.
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John Cena reprises his role as Peacemaker, a lunkheaded wannabe superhero so dedicated to vague notions of peace that he’ll murder anyone who gets in his way. In The Suicide Squad movie he was scooped out of prison to join a band of misfits battling an alien menace on a remote island, and Cena’s performance was one of the highlights. The comically oblivious, desperately self-serious Peacemaker emerged as a character you loved to hate as he pulled a heinous betrayal against his comrades.
The film’s post-credits scene teased the series, which HBO Max developed even before the film was released. A bold move, but it’s proved to be a pretty…