Hawkeye review: Marvel’s best TV show since Daredevil
2021, on the whole, has been a lot. This is why this Thanksgiving we are thankful for.
The first two episodes of Hawkeye air on Disney Plus on November 24. The rest of the six-episode series then arrives every Wednesday until Christmas, which means you can save them for a festive frenzy. On the cozy side, Renner returns as archery-themed Avenger Clint Barton (aka Hawkeye), just trying to reunite with his loving family in time for Christmas. And if you’re fed up with your family’s nonsense, you might just vibrate with the complicated family dynamics encountered by her new sidekick Kate Bishop, whose fairytale life comes with a mean stepdad.
The show opens with a focus on Kate, a new character on our screens who is already part of the: She is one of the many invisible ordinary people whose lives have been touched – and not for the better – by the overpowering shenanigans that have unfolded on the big screen over the past decade. Even the opening titles focus on Kate, skillfully sketching into her backstory as she becomes Steinfeld, star of True Grit, Dickinson and .
On the scale of the imagination, from earthly punches to cosmic flights,and were incredibly ingenious journeys to the most surreal confines of Marvel lore, while was a much more meat and potato action story. Inspired by writer Matt Fraction and entertaining comic book artist David Aja in 2012, the Hawkeye series sits at the more earthly end of Marvel’s weirdness spectrum, dealing with all-too-human heroes, politics. filthy family and street crime. The pleasure does not come from the cerebral intelligence but from the energy of the spectacle: the fight scenes sparkle with kinetic energy, and the whole is carried by the main actors who trigger each other.
Kate is a rich kid with a chip on her shoulder, much to her mother’s exasperation, warmly played by Vera Farmiga (last seen in the Sopranos prequel ). Kate is also a talented martial artist and archer, not to mention a super Hawkeye fan. The best thing about the show is the classic pairing between the enthusiastic youngster and the moody mentor, with Steinfeld and Renner firing on each other for a fun effect.
Hawkeye himself, meanwhile, is brought back to the violent underworld in search of the costume he wore while temporarily renaming himself the violent vigilante Ronin during the Blip (the years when Thanos wiped out half of the population of galaxy, including Hawkeye’s wife and children). The New York setting goes from the high-society murder mystery to the street-level punch-up in a way that will strongly remind fans of a previous attempt to bring the MCU to the small screen: Daredevil.
In 2015, Daredevil was the start of an unprecedented and at the time quite daring experiment, ushering in a series of four interconnected Netflix shows featuring Marvel heroes who had not yet appeared in the MCU. Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist (as well as the spin-off The Punisher) were gritty action dramas set in the shadow of New York City, and Hawkeye looks more like them than anything else overall. of the MCU. There’s even a long fight streak reminiscent of the centerpiece one punch punches in Daredevil (excuse me while I go out to watch them on youtube).
Back. In the first two episodes, Hawkeye is generally lighter than the grim shows on Netflix, which were absorbing but cumulatively got a bit of a pain. On paper, Hawkeye has a tortured hero thing, but here’s the thing about the whole Ronin affair: It doesn’t work. The loss of Clint is believed to have caused him to betray his vicious killer morality. Sadly, that’s not really what Endgame showed us. Thanks to Marvel’s family tone and all the other massive amounts of stuff that needed to be incorporated into the movie, all we saw on screen was Clint getting a crappy haircut and hitting yakuza. Which is literally what a superhero usually does (i.e. send gangsters, although silly haircuts are also quite common). OK, so he cut people up with a sword, which is frowned upon in superhero circles, but we only know that Clint was supposed to have crossed a moral line because he didn’t want to shut up about it. .
More touching is the sense of Clint’s loss for Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, lost fighting Thanos in this summer’s Endgame.served as a late moment in the spotlight for , and it also adds a layer to Renner’s relatively straightforward character. Which relates to , suggesting that the series will reunite two new recruits who steal the scene as the escape of Steinfeld and Black Widow are ready to face each other.
Overall, Hawkeye isn’t a tortured anti-hero looking for redemption, he’s still just an affable Jeremy Renner who walks around looking grumpy. And the series knows it above all, placing it in action scenes that are more playful than perilous. Episode 2 in particular shows both Clint and Kate engaged in mock fights that are fun to watch rather than dangerous to their health, a casual variation of the gritty action scene formula in each episode.
Combined with little snippets of nonsense like the comedic villains of Tracksuit Mafia and a musical about Steve Rogers and the Avengers (who spends a lot of screen time in Episode 1), Hawkeye is a fun festive treat. Comparisons to Daredevil and his ilk are a reminder that for many fans there was, giving them the dubious distinction of making the MCU feel inessential. With a huge , it feels like fans might be overwhelmed again.
But don’t worry about it this holiday season. Just fill yourself up with turkey and warmed Hawkeye.
Upcoming movies in 2021 and 2022 from Netflix, Marvel, HBO and more
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