Hawkeye! The hero with a bow and arrow that some call the most useless Avenger. However, I don’t see it like that. The character, famously played by Jeremy Renner, carries a type of comedic cynical and relatable side that I’ve grown to appreciate over time. So, I was mildly curious when I heard that the character was getting his show on Disney Plus. My curiosity only grew when I found out that the series would follow Matt Fraction’s 2012-2015 run that better explored Hawkeye’s background. And honestly, I think Marvel Studios has another hit on their hands.
Disney Plus’s Hawkeye stars Renner as the master archer alongside Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop. Rounding off the cast is Tony Dalton as Jack Duquense, Vera Farmiga as Elanor Bishop, and Lucky the Pizza Dog. Fans of Fraction’s comic might enjoy that last bit of info. I was only allowed to view the first two episodes of the series for this review, but I’ve got a nice feel of what’s to come in terms of the tone.
The show takes place during the holiday season, and I thought it was perfect in terms of adding some light-hearted nature to the plot. Renner has been fine-tuning his take on the character and has grown over the years. Occurring further down the timeline after the snap, there are hints of survivor’s guilt from Clint Barton. This opens the possibility for a storyline that can delve into a person’s mental state and allows Barton to grow further than we’ve seen before.
The plot even involves Barton’s past as Ronin and the ramifications that can come from that. It helps bring in some of the drama and hardship the character dealt with during those past five years.
It’s not all doom and gloom as Steinfeld’s Bishop shares some of the comedy duties carried by Renner. The character’s personality meshes well with the tone of the show. Steinfeld can “bring it” in terms of serious moments during the show when needed and has an even balance of humorous beats. I wouldn’t say that there are copious amounts of “laugh out loud” moments, but the sense of humor played out helps lift Hawkeye when the scene calls for it.
The combination of the two acting talents is equal to a graceful example of a buddy comedy that’s tact out with the idea of mentoring the next generation of superheroes.
The only issue that I’ve seen out of the first two episodes is the lack of better action set pieces. There were several instances when the action picked up in Hawkeye but either the lighting was too dark, or director Rhys Thompson purposely did not show off the scope of the fights. I feel that the choppy cuts between punches and kicks hurt the series which is telling of a not so well-thought-out plan to shoot fight scenes.
So far, Hawkeye shows promises an entertaining series and the Christmas setting harkens back to the Die Hard days when everything that could go wrong around the holidays does go wrong. It’s good to see Jeremy Renner come back to the role that made him a household name and Hailee Steinfeld is a great addition to the MCU. Marvel Studios is definitely setting her up to take on the mantel of Hawkeye—possibly a Young Avenger too—and I’m here for all of it.