Hawkeye Aims for Matt Fraction’s Irreverence But Misses the Mark: Review

Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld team up for a loose, but diverting Marvel chapter

Hawkeye Review

The Pitch: ‘Twas the week before Christmas, and all through New York
Hawkeye’s family’s vacationing, with ticket and fork;
The Avengers sing songs in a musical revue;
But for forgotten Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), it’s nothing that’s new.
Clint’s children were restless with their yuletide plans,
Yet Hawkeye rushed them home in a taxi van.
For out on the streets there arose such a clatter,
As a frenzied young archer makes her trouble his matter.
See, curious Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld), a child of the arrow,
Has a real tough time walking the straight and narrow.
One fateful night, she tailed mom’s new beau,
To see him bid on Avengers garb in a secret chamber below.
Opportunity struck, and soon she’d flown in
To steal the ninja suit Clint once wore as Ronin.
Together, they’ll deal with this new, deadly business,
And hopefully, get Hawkeye home in time for Christmas.

Hawkeye Marvel Disney+ Jeremy Renner Hailee Steinfeld
Hawkeye (Disney+)

A Fraction of the Fun: After a decade of being the Avengers’ punching bag, it seemed like Hawkeye was going to be the show that finally gave Earth’s Least Mightiest Hero his due. From the arch (heh) irreverent tone to the rounded, pastel artwork of the opening titles, everything about this show feels ripped right out of Matt Fraction and David Aja’s celebrated comic run in 2012. Hawkeye is a grumpy, cynical everyman dealing with the everyday nonsense of New York; Kate Bishop is here, causing trouble and leaning into her role as protege; we’ve even got Lucky the Pizza Dog!

But, if the two episodes provided to critics for review are any indicator, Hawkeye‘s evocation of the Fraction/Aja vibe feels more like window dressing than a real adaptation of the comic. For one thing, much like how Black Widow was more a showcase for Florence Pugh’s Yelena (alleged to show up in later episodes) than a Scarlett Johannson vehicle, Hawkeye is first and foremost The Kate Bishop Show.


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