“70 million circumcisions, every year,” laments Irish vampire Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun), and with that we’re wholly back in the world of PREACHER for another year. The series, based on the long-running DC/Vertigo Comic from Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, opens with a car chase to the tune of ‘Come on Eileen’ by Dexy’s Midnight Runners. There couldn’t be a more apt moment for what is already a batshit crazy series.
In the season opener, announced with a massive title drop ‘THE SEARCH FOR GOD: DAY ONE,’ Jesse (Dominic Cooper), Tulip (Ruth Negga), and Cassidy are pulled over by the police. Using Genesis to get out of the situation, they are soon set upon by the vengeful Saint of Killers (Graham McTavish), who promptly blows holes the size of Texas in everything that moves. Hunted, their own pursuit of God continues, with much debate as to whether to use Genesis for their own gain. On the road, they run into some unexpected help from a fellow preacher with a penchant for entrapment, a strip club owner, and the angelic Fiore (Tom Brooke), who has an interesting new gig.
When there is skull-crushing mayhem and Academy Award nominee Ruth Negga siphoning gas with someone’s intestines before the title drop, you know you’re in for a good time. The first season’s update of the comic was shockingly good, a stellar example of how one adapts for faithfulness if not outright fidelity. The first two episodes of the second season, directors Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen aim to ‘wow’ us into submission.
The Saint of Killers is absolutely everything we had hoped for in a villain, and the mostly taciturn McTavish has strolled straight out of High Plains Drifter with a single-minded disregard for wanton destruction. Holding no quarter when it comes to interrogation, McTavish is like a dusty mountain on-screen: unmovable and as old as the Earth.
Goldberg and Rogen helm both episodes with panache, keeping much of the stylistic elements of the first season (title drops, rapid cutting, high dynamic range photography), but covering it in the skull-crushing violence that we remember so well from the comics. In the second episode, we follow one of the Saint of Killer’s bullets directly into its target, and you can almost feel yourself stepping through the blood on the way out the door.
As the first episode closes with a dedication “For Steve,” acknowledging the passing of series artist Steve Dillon late last year, one tends to think that he would have enjoyed the hell out of seeing his creations come to life in such an energetic manner. PREACHER is back, and it’s a joyful and energetic reunion that just so happens to be covered in blood.
PREACHER returns to Stan on 26 June 2017 in Australia, fast-tracked from the AMC debut on 25 June 2017.
Please not that we have been embargoed from revealing specific episode details at this time, and will update the review on the release date.