Hawkeye Series Review



HAWKEYE (2021 - )

Creators: Jonathan Igla, Rhys Thomas

Season 1: Critics Consensus: Hawkeye Starts slowly, but the street-level action is refreshing change of place for MCU – and the chemistry between its leads sparkles even when the plot lags.

Cast and Crews:

Jeremy Renner, Hailee Steinfiled, Vera Farmiga, Florence Pugh, Fra Fee, Tony Dalton, Alaqua Cox, Zahn McClarnon, Brian d’Arcy James

SERIES INFORMATION:

The fourth of Marvel Studios' live-action Disney+ shows, Hawkeye follows previously released series WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki. Named for the alter ego of Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), Hawkeye is the first time since the character's introduction in 2011's Thor that he leads his own property — making him the final of the original six members of The Avengers to do so. He's joined in the series by co-star Hailee Steinfeld, who makes her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut as Kate Bishop, a hero who also adopts the mantle of Hawkeye in the comics. Hawkeye is more Kate Bishop origin story than Clint Barton solo series, but Steinfeld and Renner's dynamic makes for a delightful holiday adventure.

In the first two episodes of Hawkeye (which were provided for review), Clint is spending time in New York City with his three kids, taking in the sights and catching a Broadway show, Rogers: The Musical, which recreates events from 2012's Battle of New York. However, when a masked vigilante wearing his old Ronin costume is spotted fleeing the scene of an explosion, Clint gets roped into tracking down the suit. That leads him to Kate Bishop, the daughter of wealthy socialite Eleanor Bishop (Vera Farmiga) who comes home from college for the holidays to find her mother engaged to the mysterious Jack Duquesne (Tony Dalton). Kate, who's been a fan of Hawkeye since 2012, insinuates herself as the partner of the reluctant Clint, who's simply trying to get home to his family in time for Christmas.

With much of Hawkeye episode 1 focused on introducing Kate and establishing her reasons for adoring Hawkeye enough to pick up a bow and arrow herself, the series premiere leaves little room for catching up with Clint in his first appearance since Avengers: Endgame. Thankfully, Steinfeld shines bright as the meddlesome and troublemaking Kate Bishop, making her a different kind of superhero. She's someone who is in the game because she truly wants to be rather than it being a job or a curse, which, of course, puts her at odds with the jaded and blasé Clint Barton. Though much of Hawkeye episode 1 focuses on Kate, there are moments when director Rhys Thomas and writer Jonathan Igla manage to show some insight into how Clint's dealing with the aftermath of Endgame, particularly the loss of his close friend Natasha Romanoff. Once Kate's introduction is more or less complete, Hawkeye episode 2 features plenty more of Clint and has a more even balance between the two characters.

Ultimately, Hawkeye is a charming and compelling addition to the MCU, providing a story with plenty of holiday hijinks. Those hoping for a purely Clint Barton story may be frustrated by the amount of time given to Kate Bishop, but like Black Widow earlier this year, the Hawkeye series was clearly tasked with both giving Clint a solo story and introducing his replacement. For the most part, Thomas and Igla strike a good balance, especially in Hawkeye episode 2, which may be more indicative of the rest of the series. The dynamic between Renner and Steinfeld is entertaining enough to keep casual viewers happy, while the show's connections to the larger universe are sure to enthrall Marvel diehards. In the end, Hawkeye is the holiday must-watch for MCU fans.