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Review

HAWKEYE (2021) Episode 1&2 Review

Charlie reviews the first two episodes of Disney+’s HAWKEYE “an absolute festive blast” from Marvel Studios. Streaming episodes 1 & 2 now.

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Hawkeye (Marvel Studios)

Stream episodes 1 & 2 of Hawkeye now via Disney+ and catch new episodes streaming Wednesdays.

Synopsis

Marvel Studios’ “Hawkeye” stars Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, who teams up with another well-known archer from the Marvel comics, Kate Bishop, played by Hailee Steinfeld. The cast also includes Vera Farmiga, Fra Fee, Tony Dalton, Zahn McClarnon, Brian d’Arcy James and newcomer Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez. “Hawkeye” is helmed by Rhys Thomas and directing duo Bert and Bertie.

Review

In 2021 alone, Marvel have released three brand new movies (with a fourth on the way before the end of the year) and five television shows which is astronomical that the studio. Now, with their fifth TV show of the year, Hawkeye, hitting Disney+ this week, is this another hit for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) or is it Marvel’s first dud?

Former Avenger Clint Barton (played by Jeremy Renner), aka Hawkeye, has a seemingly simple mission: get back to his family for Christmas. Is that possible? Maybe with the help of Kate Bishop (played by Hailee Steinfeld), a 22-year-old archer with dreams of becoming a super hero. The two are forced to work together when a presence from Barton’s past threatens to derail far more than the festive spirit.

From the opening fifteen minutes, Marvel’s Hawkeye establish a tone that is very distinguished compared to the rest of the MCU. Sure, it’s light-hearted but it is a lot more “festive” than the rest of Marvel’s titles. This is definitely due to it being a Christmas show but also because it is just breezy entertainment. A lot of the Marvel Cinematic Universe deals with the deaths of family members or end-of-the-world consequences so it is refreshing for the franchise to take a breather and deal with a story that is a lot more street level and grounded. Nothing ever seems like the entire world is at stake; it is just one man trying to complete a mission in time to get back to his family for Christmas.

As expected, Jeremy Renner is fantastic as Hawkeye. He brings that charm he brought to all the Avengers movies which is good to see. He gets a few great moments of action with his new partner-in-crime and those are highly entertaining. However, Hawkeye has always been the Avenger that never got to be at the forefront and it is the same here…in his own show. Hailee Steinfeld is the standout here as Kate Bishop and is easily given the most to work with, in terms of screen time and character development. The show really is a passing of the torch from Barton to Bishop so she can be the new Hawkeye heading into the rest of Phase Four and beyond but the balance between the two characters’ screen time feels off. Renner needs to be given more to work with in the next four episodes because when your supposedly main character isn’t given all that much to do, that will become a bit of an issue later on in the show.

The first two episodes really do set the groundwork for what will come in the following episodes. Episode One is a slow-starter, introducing Kate into the MCU and setting up this criminal underworld in New York City but Episode Two really shines as it introduces quite a few themes and plotlines for the characters but also has a lot more comedy and action. It sets everything up perfectly for what will come next while also bringing in this threat at the end of Episode Two.

Verdict

Hawkeye is an absolute festive blast! Jeremy Renner is great as the titular character but Hailee Steinfeld steals the show as Kate Bishop. It is light and breezy entertainment that is filled with slick action, comedy and Christmas cheer.


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