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Peacemaker Delivers Brutal Violence While Being Incredibly Funny And Goofy At The Same Time

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Note: This review is based on the first seven episodes (of eight)

Following on hot off the heels of 2021’s The Suicide Squad James Gunn strikes again with more hilariously entertaining superhero shenanigans. Originally Peacemaker would seem like an interesting choice of the squad to be getting his own series, especially after the final act of The Suicide Squad revealing him to be a complete asshole, but very quickly the show establishes itself and manages to make Peacemaker, AKA Christopher Smith, just a little bit more likeable.

The show opens with John Cena’s Peacemaker busting out of prison and he unites with some new teammates to defeat a bunch of alien creatures known as butterflies. On the team are leader Clemson Murn (Chukwudi Iwuji), John Economos (Steve Agee) and Emilia Harcourt (Jennifer Holland) two characters that we briefly met working for Amanda Waller in The Suicide Squad, rookie Leota Adebayo (Danielle Brooks) who’s by far the most interesting of the team behind the Peacemaker, as well as Peacemaker’s wisecracking friend Vigilante (Freddie Stroma). It’s a completely different sort of team to who we last saw Peacemaker with in The Suicide Squad but it allows for a much greater exploration of the eponymous Peacemaker.

HBO Max

John Cena is absolutely perfect for the character and James Gunn’s sharp writing and direction makes the show stand out. Right from Peacemaker’s ridiculous pitch-perfect opening titles up until the end of each episode it’s filled to the brim with stupidity and the sort of gags we come to expect from Gunn. It’s remarkable that the cast can perform it all with a straight face. Everything about the show has this air of stupidity to it, whether that’s in the dialogue, Peacemaker’s bald eagle pet named Eagly, or even just Peacemaker’s costume. But the show somehow perfectly balances this stupidity with seriousness as it provides a great look at Peacemaker’s character and actually gives a reason as to why he’s getting this show.

There’s far more to Cena’s character beneath the surface and beneath what we’ve seen of him previously and there’s something that deserves exploration and that’s what the series does. He’s willing to get peace at all costs no matter how many men, women, and children he has to kill to get it. The main plot line of the show about tackling the alien species of butterflies that take over a host body seems a little similar to Project Starfish from The Suicide Squad -and in fact the show even jokes about this similarity- but the show also delves into deeper issues as we experience the relationship between Peacemaker and his white supremacist dad Auggie played by Terminator 2’s Robert Patrick. There’s so much more to Peacemaker as a person and what he’s been through that The Suicide Squad just doesn’t touch on at all so this show is a good chance to really connect with him on a deeper level and it provides us with reasons to actually sympathise with this character.

We’re inundated with superhero content at the minute and Peacemaker feels distinct enough from much of what Marvel are doing, even Gunn’s own Marvel projects, however there is an easy comparison to be made between this and Amazon’s The Boys. Peacemaker isn’t quite as sharp or as smart as The Boys is, nor are any of the other characters in Peacemaker anywhere near the high quality of Amazon’s show but nonetheless it’s a delight to watch and a break from the many Marvel series we had in 2021.

HBO Max

As the show runs on a lot of the humour starts to drip away with Gunn’s juvenile style of comedy getting a bit repetitive. In particular the novelty of Stroma’s quippy Vigilante, who initially seems like DC’s version of Deadpool starts to wear off. Very quickly his stupidity and lack of awareness gets boring.

Peacemaker delivers with its heavy and brutal violence along with being incredibly funny and goofy at the same time. James Gunn shows us once again that he can make something fun and vibrant that feels like it’s been ripped straight out the pages of a comic book. It’s entertaining as hell and a great start to the year for DC.

The first three episodes of Peacemaker premiere on HBO MAX on January 13th with new episodes releasing each week.

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DC

‘Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths Part Two’ Review | Unleashes The Power of the DC Multiverse

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“Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths—Part Two” continues the epic journey of the DC Multiverse, facing its most severe threat in this gripping trilogy. As the Anti-Monitor unleashes chaos by destroying various Earths, the Monitor assembles many heroes, including Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, to combat the endless swarm of shadow demons threatening existence. The film delves into dark secrets and intricate character dynamics, heightening the stakes and delivering a thrilling narrative.

The Anti-Monitor (the Monitor’s evil counterpart) is released into the DC Multiverse and begins to destroy the different Earths that compose it. The Monitor attempts to recruit heroes from across the Multiverse/Tomorrowverse to fight back. The only thing opposing them is the mightiest team of metahumans ever assembled. But not even the combined power of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and all their fellow superheroes can slow down the onslaught of this invincible horde. What mysterious force is driving them? And how do the long-buried secrets of the Monitor and Supergirl threaten to crush their last defence?

©Warner Bros./DC Entertainment

With ample room to explore the intricate storyline, the film navigates the interconnected web of characters and universes with skilful pacing and engaging storytelling. Building on the foundation laid by the previous instalment, “Part Two” dives straight into the action, immersing viewers in a high-stakes battle for survival. Director Jeff Wamester and the talented cast bring depth and emotion to their respective roles, enhancing the overall impact of the narrative.

While the first part of the trilogy suffered from a fractured narrative and an abundance of characters, “Part Two” manages to streamline the story and focus on the core conflict at hand. Effectively bypassing much of the foundational work established in its predecessor, swiftly immersing viewers in high-octane action. Beginning shortly after the climax of Part One, we witness the aftermath of The Flash’s demise as the surviving heroes, hailing from diverse universes, collaborate to deploy tuning fork towers in a collective effort to phase the Earth and evade the impending cataclysmic energy wave. Nevertheless, introducing previously unseen characters adds a new layer of intrigue to the unfolding narrative. Introducing key players like Psycho Pirate sets the stage for an explosive finale in the upcoming third instalment. 

©Warner Bros./DC Entertainment

One of the strengths of this film is its ability to establish a personal connection with the characters, Part Two particularly focuses more on Psycho Pirate and Supergirl, The exploration of their motivations and backstories adds depth to the overall narrative, making the impending confrontation with the Anti-Monitor even more compelling. The depiction of Psycho Pirate in the film provides valuable insights into his character and abilities. The origin story offers a compelling introduction for viewers unfamiliar with him, albeit with a darker tone. While the film may embellish his background from the comic series, this interpretation adds complexity to the character. Additionally, Meg Donnelly’s depiction of Supergirl embodies a resilient survivor granted a fresh start by the Monitor after escaping her decimated home world of Krypton. One notable aspect of the film adaptation is the attention to detail in establishing and engendering empathy for each character.

The exceptional voice acting displayed throughout the film exemplified unparalleled skill and artistry, with each actor expertly embodying their characters with a genuine and distinctive interpretation. Particularly noteworthy were the performances of Meg Donnelly as Supergirl and Geoffrey Arend as Psycho Pirate, whose ability to infuse emotion into their characters deeply resonated with me, eliciting genuine empathy and connection. We also see Jensen Ackles’ portrayal of Batman showcases a solitary figure navigating various realms where he reluctantly allows others to join his noble mission alongside the Bat family from a different world. Meanwhile, Darren Criss’ interpretation of Superman grapples with establishing his role as the world’s ultimate guardian.

©Warner Bros./DC Entertainment

Several supporting characters exhibit acts of leadership as they assist the Justice League in safeguarding the numerous alternate Earths. Solovar intervenes to rescue a fellow hero and strives to earn his trust despite initial scepticism. Wonder Woman and Robin also demonstrate instances of aiding their teammates throughout the mission. During times of crisis, familiar individuals joining the effort undoubtedly contribute significantly to the overall strategic objectives.

Throughout Part Two, we witness intense conflict, as heroes and villains engage in epic battles amidst the darkness. The tomorrowverse/DCAU animation style seamlessly complements the dynamic action sequences, creating a visually captivating experience. As does Kevin Riepl’s masterful score enhances the emotional depth of these scenes, illustrating the intensity and complexity of the characters’ struggles.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Overall, “Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part Two” sets the stage for an epic conclusion to the trilogy, building anticipation for the showdown between our heroes and their formidable adversary. With its blend of action, emotion, and intricate storytelling, this instalment keeps viewers engaged and eager to see how the epic saga will unfold in the thrilling finale.

“Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths-Part Two” Is now available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and Digital HD via Warner Bros.

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Joker: Folie à Deux | Official Teaser – In Theaters October 4, 2024

Sequel to the film “Joker” from 2019.

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Genre:

Crime, Drama, Musical

Release Date:

October 4, 2024

Director:

Todd Phillips

Cast:

Joaquin Phoenix, Lady Gaga

Plot Summary:

Sequel to the film “Joker” from 2019.

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Comic Book Movies

The Penguin | Official Teaser — HBO Max

Following the events of ‘The Batman,’ Oswald Cobblepot, aka The Penguin, makes a play to grab the reigns of the crime world in Gotham.

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Genre:

Crime, Drama, Fantasy

Release Date:

2024

Director:

Craig Zobel

Cast:

Colin Farrell, Cristin Milioti, Rhenzy Feliz

Plot Summary:

Following the events of ‘The Batman,’ Oswald Cobblepot, aka The Penguin, makes a play to grab the reigns of the crime world in Gotham.

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