The following review contains spoilers.
Hawkeye is Marvel’s latest series to hit Disney+. It stars Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld and follows Renner’s Clint Barton as he attempts to make it home for Christmas, whilst helping Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop untangle a web of crime.
The show, which is inspired by Matt Fraction and David Aja’s fan favourite comic series, is a welcomed change of pace for Marvel as it is smaller in scale and takes its time to explore the consequences of being a vigilante- much like the missed Marvel Netflix shows.
Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye has long been accused of being the most “boring” Avenger and has received the least amount of screen time, however his first solo project has rightfully added some more depth to his character and given him time to shine.
By far the best part of this series is the chemistry between Barton and Bishop, who play off each other very well. Both actors do a great job and the scenes between them in the apartment are often where the show is at its best. Hailee Steinfeld is a fantastic Kate Bishop, she has hilarious comedic timing and has already become a fan favourite addition to the MCU.
There is also some spectacular, inventive action in this show, particularly in episodes three and six, which finally utilised Hawkeye’s trick arrows to great effect.
The show has a packed supporting cast, which is both a good and a bad thing. While everyone from Alaqua Cox to Tony Dalton does a spectacular job, the limited six episode length means that many characters unfortunately do not get as much screen time as they should have.
The overall structure of the show is maybe my biggest gripe with it. While six episodes has worked well for the other shows such as Falcon and the Winter soldier, I just feel as if Hawkeye had too much to explore in this small amount of time. It doesn’t help that much of these Marvel D+ episode lengths seem to be taken up by never ending opening titles and end credits.
An unfortunate casualty of the show’s structure is the story of Alaqua Cox’s Echo. While Cox does a marvellous job as her, the writers decided to rush the character’s most iconic story arc in the last episode. While it kind of works in the context of the show, the arc- based on the comic ‘Daredevil: parts of a hole’- has so much potential that it feels unfair to rush it, especially since it’s already been announced that Alaqua Cox will get her own spin off show, where the story could’ve been explored to its full potential.
On the flip side of this though is Florence Pugh who returns as Black Widow Yelena. Her arc is quite similar to Cox’s as she wants to kill Hawkeye. Yelena is another highlight of the show, she has great comedic chemistry with Kate Bishop, and her plot with Clint is really emotional and wrapped up satisfyingly.
One of the biggest surprises of the show was the return of Vincent D’onofrio’s Kingpin, who was last seen in season three of Daredevil. As a fan, who was severely disappointed when Daredevil was cancelled by Netflix, I was delighted to finally see the return of D’onofrio as one of my favourite villains and happy that Daredevil has now seemingly been made canon to the wider MCU. D’onofrio perfectly steps back into his role and has some great scenes, especially between Alaqua Cox and a fight with Kate Bishop that feels straight from the comics. However, as I mentioned earlier, they rushed a great story from the comics, featuring Echo and Kingpin, which is really unfortunate because it deserved a whole show to itself. It was also a little bit disappointing that Clint did not share any scenes with Kingpin.
Overall Hawkeye was a fun series to watch during the holiday season and I would recommend watching it if you have not. While it should’ve been longer, there are still lots of fun action scenes and character moments to enjoy and it contains lots of festive warmth and music too, making it a perfect Christmas watch.
Feature Image credit: Disney+