‘Peacemaker’s Opening Credits Justify the Entire Show
James Gunn’s known for his superhero movies with off-kilter needle drops. The Guardians of the Galaxy films each featured their own “Awesome Mix” of soft rock classics like Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a Feelin” and Silver’s “Wham Bam Shang-A-Lang.” The Suicide Squad soundtrack included “Folsom Prison Blues,” “People Who Died,” and “Just a Gigolo.”
The first three episodes of Gunn’s new Suicide Squad spinoff show Peacemaker is now streaming on HBO Max, and it very much continues that tradition. Peacemaker himself (played by John Cena) is a huge hair metal fan, and his song choices fill the shows that have debuted so far. His music taste extends to the series’ opening credits with are, without question, the greatest opening credits in the history of the televisual medium.
They feature the entire cast of the show, including Cena, Danielle Brooks, Freddie Stroma, Jennifer Holland, Steve Agee, and Mr. Liquid Metal Terminator himself, Robert Patrick performing an elaborate dance number on a neon-lit soundstage. They’re also in full costume, so you get to see, like, Cena in his Peacemaker getup bouncing around, and the Vigilante doing breakdancing flips. And then at the end, Peacemaker’s pet eagle Eagly makes an appearance.
It’s really sensational. This should be nominated for Best Live-Action Short at the Academy Awards next year.
The song in the opening credits is called “Do You Wanna Taste It?” by the Norwegian glam metal band Wig Wam. Formed in Halden, Norway in 2001, the group has previously appeared as Norway’s contestant on the European Song Contest. (Somehow, they didn’t win.) “Do Ya Wanna Taste It” is the first track on their 2010 album Non Stop Rock’n Roll.
The credits are very silly, of course, but even beyond the fact that “Do You Wanna Taste It?” is probably playing inside Peacemaker’s head when he’s mowing down bad guys, the sequence really suit the show as a whole. Gunn’s whole schtick with superheroes is deflating their cliches while doubling down on the characters’ humanity. He loves superhero movies (and now shows) about lovable misfits with weird (or no) powers who band together to form surrogate families. Even Peacemaker, a show about a solo hero, is about a lonely guy looking to connect to the people around him. So the credits start with Peacemaker dancing alone and by the end he has an entire ensemble moving with him in unison. It basically tells the entire show’s story through silly dance moves in about 70 seconds. That’s fantastic.
The first three episodes of Peacemaker are now streaming on HBO Max. The rest of the show so far is very entertaining and absolutely worth checking out. (Cena is particularly good as the deranged Peacemaker.) But if you click the “Skip Intro” button when it pops up during the opening credits, you’re a fool.