'Hawkeye' Review: Jeremy Renner, Hailee Steinfeld's Marvel show off to low-energy start

It might not have the action of 'The Falcon and The Winter Soldier' or the mind-bending charm of 'WandaVision', but the show is good nonetheless


                            'Hawkeye' Review: Jeremy Renner, Hailee Steinfeld's Marvel show off to low-energy start
Hailee Steinfeld and Jeremy Renner in a still from 'Hawkeye' (Disney+)

The high-octane trailers of 'Spider-Man: No Way Home' coupled with the anticipation of Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinflied's Marvel solo series, 'Hawkeye' came as a balm to many who were stung by the dismal 'Eternals'. And a slow, low-energy, and comic-filled start to the series with generous doses of action and equal importance to world-building, makes the bow and archer drama a watchable affair. It might not have the same scintillating action as 'The Falcon and The Winter Soldier' or the mind-bending charm of 'Loki' and 'WandaVision', but Renner's show is good. That's to that.

Quickly getting into the storyline, Renner's Clint Barton is now hoping to spend some quality family time after his PTSD-filled 'Endgame' battle. He's in New York watching a rather lame 'Rogers' drama that sees the Avengers' 2012 NYC battle against Loki re-enacted with oodles of dumb. Pity Barton, who saved the world just to die of a migraine the Broadway musical gives him. He wears a hearing aid now, a permanent result of his explosive battles alongside the earth's mightiest heroes.

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He's supposed to join his family for Christmas in size days only to run into Steinfeld's Kate Bishop, who had a bond with Hawkeye as he obliviously saved her during the 2012 attack. He's her inspiration to become an expert markswoman and she's well-equipped — Fencing, martial arts and has zero fear. It's as if she's spent her teen days metamorphosizing into a superhero. It all goes wrong for Kate and Barton when she follows Jack Duquesne (Tony Dalton), her mother Eleanor's (Vera Farmiga) enigmatic and shady fiancee into a black-market auction where Ronin's suit and sword are on sale.

His equally shady uncle, Armand (Simon Callow) buys the sword only for it to be pocketed by Jack when a bunch of Russian mobsters attacks the place hunting for an all-important watch. The rest is predictable as Kate dons the Ronin costume and becomes the "Ninja in the news" much to Barton's chagrin. The duo has another predictable run-in and that sets the tone for Episode 2.

Despite looking light, the series has a lot to offer. For starters, there's Florence Pugh's Yelena Belova who's still yet to make her confirmed appearance on the show, while Alaqua Cox's Maya Lopez/Echo gets a very 'Daredevil' style introduction in the second chapter. Renner shines as a worn-out, but still sharp Avenger whose small screen status was further elevated after his performances in 'Mayor of Kingstown'. Steinfeld looks promising as Bishop packing in all the character's frustration and packs quite a wallop as a driven hero. She's a superhero in the making and that explains the slow setting of the series.

There isn't much to decode or takeaway from the first couple of episodes. There will be questions: Will we see Wilson Fisk to some degree? Will Echo side the heroes? Is this a battle that Barton's just entangled in? Lots of questions, but there's time and for now 'Hawkeye' does enough to impress.

Episodes 1 and 2 of 'Hawkeye' are streaming on Disney+.

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