Peacemaker has reunited John Cena and Robert Patrick, following after their first pairing in WWE action movie The Marine. John Cena has been a wrestling icon for many years, but like many wrestlers before him, making the transition to the big screen took some time. Cena has admitted many of his early film roles were really about helping WWE promote their movie output, but he didn’t have much passion for the projects he was working on. The majority of these films like 12 Rounds or Legendary failed to become hits either.

Cena (whose “You Can’t See Me” phrase is now a meme) later decided to back away from acting, outside of occasional cameos. Following the praise he received for his work in 2015 rom-com Trainwreck, the wrestler started to actively pursue movies again. Unlike most of his wrestling contemporaries, his focus was more on more on comedies like Blockers, which played to his strengths. More recently, Cena has started appearing in major blockbusters, including a role in Transformers spinoff Bumblebee and playing the villainous Jakob in F9.

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In 2021, he played Peacemaker (AKA Christopher Smith) in The Suicide Squad, which was James Gunn’s sequel to the 2016 original. Peacemaker is basically an evil Captain America and is willing to kill men, women and children in the name of peace. Gunn loved the character and Cena’s work so much he created HBO Max series Peacemaker, which is set after the events of The Suicide Squad. The show also introduced Chris’ racist father Auggie/White Dragon (Robert Patrick), who has nothing but disdain for his son. John Cena and Robert Patrick have great chemistry together, and Peacemaker reunites them years after WWE’s The Marine.

Arriving in 2006, The Marine was an action film that cast Cena in his first lead role as John Triton, a former marine whose wife is kidnapped by a group of diamond thieves. The Marine is, by design, a big dumb action film where ten minutes can’t go by without a huge explosion or fight scene. The Marine zips by quickly, but it’s far from WWE or Cena’s best work. That said, it’s worth seeing for Robert Patrick’s gleefully hammy turn as Rome, the leader of the thieves. The role was reportedly written with Al Pacino in mind, and Patrick is having the best time as the smirking thief.

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Since The Marine’s story has Cena chasing Patrick’s gang – which includes a Terminator 2 in-joke – they don’t get to share the screen much. The movie has its fans and was a modest success, spawning five STV sequels. Cena has come a long way as a dramatic performer since The Marine, so whereas Patrick dominated The Marine with his turn, Cena can now comfortably hold his own against his co-star in Peacemaker. Of course, it helps that Peacemaker’s writing is much better too, but it’s nice to see the old co-stars reunited after the enjoyable b-movie thrills of The Marine.

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