Peacemaker is one of the more unassumingly enjoyable films among Kevin S. Tenneys output. The film was clearly inspired by the success of The Terminator (1984). Indeed, after The Terminator, there were several very similar films that came out all on the theme of alien cops hunting alien criminals most notably The Hidden (1987), which Peacemaker owes more than a debt of inspiration to, as well as the likes of the tv mini-series Something is Out There (1988), Dark Angel/I Come in Peace (1990), Abraxas: Guardian of the Universe (1991) and The Cat (1992). In fact, Kevin S. Tenney happily pillages from other science-fiction films right and left there is the idea taken from Starman (1984) of the woman abducted by an alien and forced to take him on a journey, as he only starts to understand human language; and a scene where an alien escapes by leaving his severed hand still attached to a handcuff that is borrowed directly from Scream and Scream Again (1969).
Kevin S. Tenney whips everything up into an entertaining package. The film is clearly made on a limited budget and looks it too the alien transformation effects are particularly cheap looking. Nevertheless, Tenney does a decent job of imitating the pelting action style of James Cameron, particularly during the big set-piece of a highway chase sequence. There is the odd moment where Tenney doesnt seem to realize that he is creating cliché shots cop cars piling up in slow motion, motorcycles skidding under semi-trailers, people going through windows in slow motion but generally the film works successfully in the action department. Where it works particularly well is in the ambiguity that Tenney sets up between the two aliens as to which is the good guy and which the bad guy. Both aliens offer equally plausible alternate scenarios about one being a serial killer and the other an intergalactic law enforcement official, or one being a ruthless assassin and the other relocated to Earth as part of an intergalactic witness protection program. The film hovers between both scenarios, even offering some intriguing explanations that make for good science-fiction about Robert Forster having passed through a black hole during their pursuit in order to explain how he has been on Earth for 20 years.
The script throws in some wry one-liners heroine Hilary Shepard reacts in disbelief at Lance Edwards claim that he is an alien: This is Candid Camera! Tell me youre Allen Funt and later pinpoints his dilemma: Youre telling me you cant go home because youve lost your [spaceship] car keys? In one hilarious scene, she tells off a cop: The only difference between a brownnose and a shithead is depth perception.
On the minus side, the toplined Robert Forster seems miscast Forsters dour, phlegmatic persona is too mellow for the part of an alien bad guy. On the other hand, Lance Edwards has a blank impassiveness that works well for the character of an alien. The result makes for a film that falls just between being a B-budget ripoff and between offering a clever and imaginative treatment of clichés that stands it out over the other Terminator copies.