Updated: Dec 28, 2021
I’ll be honest, when I first heard the announcement of a Hawkeye TV show I rolled my eyes. How could they make a show about a pretty minor character in the broader MCU interesting? I’m happy to admit I was pleasantly surprised though when the first few trailers came out. I heard they were taking inspiration from the Matt Fraction line of Hawkeye comics which seemed to be exciting fans of the character, the dynamic between Jeremy Renner (Clint Barton) and Hailee Steinfeld (Kate Bishop) already seemed perfect and the general direction of a simple Christmas themed show was really appealing given how much vast knowledge you now need to be able to enjoy most of the MCU fully.
Hawkeye does a fantastic job at casting. Hailee Steinfeld seems like a perfect fit for the MCU after her first season in this show and she really does stand out as one of the shows most endearing qualities. Alongside this, her dynamic with Jeremy Renner makes for a fun and heartwarming mentor-apprentice story with the first two episodes really giving the characters time to both establish themselves and gel together.
The show also does a great job at fleshing out Hawkeye as a character and begins to finally ask a whole load of questions fans have been wondering about the character and his time during “ the blip.” Jeremy Renner’s performance is fantastic in the show and whilst there’s still a sense of familiarity to the Hawkeye character we definitely get to see him open up a bit more and show a more vulnerable side.
The overall theme and vibe of the season is really great with the Christmas backdrop acting as the perfect series to binge over the holidays if you’re looking for something easy to watch. The SFX are of course brilliant as is to be expected with almost every Marvel property now and the fight scenes are sufficient enough for those looking for just some mind-numbing action.
For all the great things Hawkeye does right there are still a lot of miss-steps from the show. Firstly, a common theme at the moment with the current Disney+ Marvel TV shows in my opinion is that they start strong and tend to disappoint at the finale. This could be due to Disney and Marvel wanting to ensure these shows last over a larger period of time and are using the first season as a means to kickstart future instalments but overall the resolutions in most of these shows and in particular Hawkeye are a far shout from that of their Star Wars counterparts.
With the inclusion of a variety of new characters both good and bad, Hawkeye, unfortunately, misses the mark on quite a few occasions with characters and it's not because they’re not captivating portrayals of their comic book parallels but instead it's due to the lack of screentime they get. Already established characters outside of Clint Barton rarely get time to stand out and new characters introduced besides Kate Bishop are given very little time to make a lasting impression. My own personal opinion on this is that the seasons are simply too short which for the most part leaves characters underdeveloped and stories rushed.
Overall, if you’re looking for a good Christmas themed action-adventure I’d thoroughly recommend Hawkeye, it’s by no means the best Disney+ Marvel show but it’s also not the worst. If you’re a long time Marvel fan I’d say the show is worth checking out as there are a few surprises you probably won’t want to miss.
If you’d like to discuss Hawkeye with me a little bit more and talk some spoilers, you can do so over on my Twitter @OdhranJohnson! If you’re interested in indie based games news, reviews and more you can check me and the team at Gaming Sandbox out over on gaming-sandbox.com.
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