It’s nice to see Hawkeye finally receiving his own story on Disney+. He’s one of the original members of the Avengers, yet until this year he and Natasha had been primarily forced to the background. Sure they aren’t super-powered, but they’re important, right? Who would the Avengers be without an archer? Yeah, they have a super soldier, flying artillery, and a literal God, but we demand an archer!
The first two episodes of the Disney+ series Hawkeye hit the streaming service this week. And to clarify, this review is on those first two episodes only. Right off the bat, you can expect this to be the MCU’s most grounded series. Clint Barton is a skilled and dangerous man, but he’s still just a man. This show is just as much about passing the torch as it is about giving Clint a proper send-off. The MCU is quickly changing and a new lineup of heroes is stepping up to take the mantle of earth’s mightiest heroes. Just as Black Widow paved the way for Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), Hawkeye paves the way for Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld).
Steinfeld (Pitch Perfect 2) has a certain bubbly charm that she exudes effortlessly. A “girl next door” quirkiness and a pitch-perfect (pun intended) comedic timing. While there is no doubt that she will excel in the role, there is still work to be done. Primarily in the moments of action and hand-to-hand combat. This is Steinfeld’s first real action role and it shows. The combat involving Kate Bishop feels slow, staged, and, at times, awkward. The editing seems to try and cover up the flaws with quick cuts and jumbled transitions that feel messy.
The chemistry between Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld really elevates the story. Their relationship (and how believably it’s portrayed) is among the most important things in the show. They have an instant father/daughter dynamic. A reluctant mentor and an eager trainee. They just click. And that’s a great thing, but without that chemistry, Hawkeye would fail to take flight.
While the rest of the world are fighting online about whether Tobey Maguire or Andrew Garfield are in Spider-Man: No Way Home (They definitely are, by the way) Hawkeye is a nice change of pace. A grounded story of a guy with a boy and arrow, a girl with a boy and arrow, and a dog fighting thugs in New York City. Could you ask for anything more this Christmas? Hawkeye may fail to be a bullseye, but it’s on the board and he has fun getting there. It’s sure to fit in among the other Disney+ MCU shows. 7.5/10