The latest release in the MCU TV line-up on Disney+ is Hawkeye. As the last original Avenger to get his own starring role, it’s about time we get to see him take centre stage in a rather festive, low-key series that is a great watch just before Christmas.
The series is set not long after the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home, and follows wannabe Hawkeye, Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld). As a young child, Kate witnessed first-hand the battle of New York and saw Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) battling the Chitauri. After her father dies in the fallout from the battle, Kate swears to protect her mother and aspires to become like Hawkeye after he saves her life.
Back in the present day, Barton is spending time with his children in New York while Kate has returned home for Christmas after an archery incident at her college. Kate attends a charity gala with her mother Eleanor (Vera Farmiga) where she learns that her mother is engaged to Jack Duquesne (Tony Dalton), a man she disproves of. While at the gala, Kate stumbles onto a black-market auction after following Jack’s uncle Armand (Simon Callow), which includes items recovered from the Avengers compound. The auction is interrupted by the Tracksuit Mafia, led by Kazi (Fra Fee), a gang who are there to steal a watch.
Kate recovers Barton’s Ronin suit from the auction and defeats members of the gang, before fleeing, saving a stray dog in the process. She heads to Armand’s home to investigate further but instead stumbles on his dead body. Prime suspect, Kate runs only to fall foul of the Tracksuit Mafia, but luckily for her Barton intervenes. Begrudgingly, Barton agrees to work with Kate so he can recover his Ronin suit while helping her to investigate the truth behind Armand’s murder.
As a character that has been pretty much side-lined in every other MCU film he’s appeared in, it’s great to see Hawkeye finally take the lead. It’s good to see a lot more of Jeremy Renner and to see him instil a huge amount of depth and emotion into a character we’ve previously known little about. However, he does face stiff competition from Hailee Steinfeld, who is absolutely adorable and a hoot as Hawkeye’s wannabe protégé. She may verge on the irritating, childish side occasionally, but most of the time she’s a great foil to Barton’s grizzled old-timer. This is very much a story about two opposites thrown together into a detective story, and a large part of what makes this show enjoyable is how Barton and Kate play off each other throughout the six episodes. That and well it’s Christmas in New York, so watching this show during December with the last episode airing on the 22nd makes it all the more entertaining.
My only real criticism about this show is that it sometimes feels a little too low-key, and not as super-powered and extravagant as most of the other entries into the MCU. But despite that, it never gets boring and there’s still enough action and explosions to keep even the easily distracted entertained. The storyline might be a little straightforward, but they still manage to throw in a couple of intriguing twists and turns. It’s also incredibly consistent, with no noticeable dips or issues throughout which can’t be said for the other MCU shows to date. By far the star of the show though and the most entertaining part has to be Florence Pugh as Yelena. As she did in Black Widow, she completely steals the show as the hilarious yet deadly assassin and her chemistry with Steinfeld is a hoot to watch. The Kate and Yelena show would definitely be one I’d be down to watch!
Despite its modest story, Hawkeye manages to pull off a great deal in its limited 6 episode run. As well as linking well into the wider MCU, it’s a fun, action-packed romp that is driven by some incredibly strong and entertaining characters.
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A contract manager moonlighting as a rather discerning film and book critic, with an almost fangirl appreciation for anything made by Christopher Nolan. When I’m not catching up on my latest read or watch, you can usually find me trying out my amateur baking skills – Bake Off here I come!