Entertainment

Hawkeye Review: Hailee Steinfeld makes Jeremy Renner’s Avenger shine

Remember 2020, when Marvel Studios didn’t release anything new all year? Before there was a TV show related to the brilliant superhero series? It’s hard to recall a year later. As 2021 draws to a close, Disney will be getting back into the Marvel business, with three new MCU movies coming out and a fourth movie still in the works. And, after the January debut of Wandavision, Disney Plus has launched many MCU shows including Loki, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and What if…?. But while you may have – some very reasonable – Marvel is tired, their last show in 2021, Hawk Eye, is here to attract and please even the most demanding viewers.

Based on fan favorites comic book series by David Aja and Matt Fraction, the first two episodes of Hawk Eye introduces viewers to Hailee Steinfeld’s amazing new MCU hero, Kate Bishop. She is the key to what makes the show work and is very much considered the star. While we get some really great Clint moments in these episodes (no, seriously), Jonathan Igla (Bridgerton, Sorry about your loss) created a show about passing the torch from generation to generation, and at the heart of that was Kate Bishop. Kate has been delighting comic book readers since she debuted in 2005 Youth Squad #1. And if the opening episodes of Hawk Eye Whatever happens (Marvel is only providing the show’s premiere for an early look), Steinfeld’s version of the character will only expand Hawkeye’s younger fan base. Playing things relatively safe by MCU TV standards, the show has a simple setting: at a pivotal moment in MCU history, a young Kate is inspired by a personal tragedy and Hawkeye’s heroism.

Years later, Kate is a privileged rule-breaking upstart who happens to have amassed an impressive amount of martial arts and archery skills. After her mother introduces Kate to her new stepfather, our young hero is quickly drawn into New York’s criminal underworld. It’s a different world with high-concept meta storytelling about WandaVison or sci-fi dimensional jump of Loki, but feel stronger for it.

That’s largely thanks to the shifting direction of Steinfeld and her co-stars, notably Vera Farmiga as her mother Eleanor and Tony Dalton as her over-the-top and enigmatic new stepfather, Jack. Their dysfunctional family dynamics add a layer of raw appeal to our hero; Kate gets gritty and confrontational in a way we rarely see heroines. But it’s not empty “don’t tell me to smile” Captain Marvel version; Kate feels real and believable. She cares for her mother even if it goes against her gut instincts. She saves someone we’ve seen her verbally before – and who could be a great danger to her – simply because it’s someone her mother takes care of.

There’s a mess to her that feels right.

Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop in stills from Hawkeye

Photo: Mary Cybulski / Marvel Studios

Kate entered the MCU in a way that felt organic and quite groundbreaking. She sets a new precedent for a generation of heroes living in the shadow of the Avengers, whose lives and losses are shaped by them. The ease with which she enters the already overwhelming Marvel Universe feels refreshing. And her inherent knowledge of the world – because she grew up in it – frees us from fanfare. Steinfeld is charming and rude, funny and heartbreaking. She matched Dalton perfectly, bringing fight and fury to the crooks in her home. There is no origin story of the required feature length here; Kate shines in her world and is easily one of the most compelling MCU heroes we’ve ever had. Even with her privilege and immaturity, Kate was never offensive. She is smart, well dressed and doesn’t need the endorsement of any nasty men around her. She’s basically the hero the MCU needs for a while, especially since there’s still no sign of male love.

Of course, Kate isn’t the only Hawkeye. Jeremy Renner back as Clint Barton. It’s hardly the kind of news that would get anyone other than Barton excited but the show has surprised once again. Luckily, not only is Clint not the star of the show, but the team behind the series used the first two episodes to re-imagine the character. Soften back edge serial killer Avengers: EndgameThis Clint is a man whose ultimate mission is to be a good father. There’s a heart here that we’ve never seen before, and seeing him through Kate’s eyes makes us all the more endearing. The character work Renner manages with the help of Igla and the writing staff is easily the best he’s ever done as the world’s least-loved Avenger. There’s a modesty here that has been missing from previous iterations. Renner brings life to a broken man, in a way far more profound than his abstract violence. Endgame. With Hawkeye’s cultural impact in the MCU and how he sees the key to his journey Hawk Eye, and it’s a really cool and fun meta comment section that also adds classes to Clint.

It’s a rare feat to take a bland character and make audiences feel in love with him after nearly a decade in the game, but Hawk Eye manage it. While his quest to be a better father may not be off to a great start, it gives Clint a depth and emotional resonance he never really got. Less is more with senior Hawkeye and the first two episodes make him impactful enough. He is reluctant as a mentor to the young girl who might be his daughter and wishes to amend his family, even though his choices repeatedly contradict both of those claims. . Dive into deeper dramatic elements in Clint and Kate’s family unit base Hawk Eye. This opens it up to a large audience of viewers who might not be interested in the MCU and the superhero-focused stories it tells.

Clint and Kate Barton stand on the New York subway with their dog in Hawkeye

Photo: Mary Cybulski / Marvel Studios

Creating a smaller-scale, lower-stakes story, the show introduces us to a high-level version of the superhero that Marvel has become so famous for. It’s a new horizon for the MCU, which has turned their most famous street hero, Spider-Man, into a high-tech mentor Tony Stark. In that way, Hawk Eye feels most like Netflix’s Marvel shows but has a family-friendly feel. Quick-witted jokes are thrown around as often as molotov cocktails, and cozy homes and snowy streets are more common than high-tech HQs. It’s grounded without being too harsh, and while it’s based on the MCU’s past, it’s not overly lore-heavy. All of that makes up the first two episodes of Hawk Eye the most accessible MCU program.

The show even plays nicely with its Christmas time setting. Hawk EyeThe first episode of the series is scored hot with recognizable seasonal music and content with lots of fun holiday movies (Clint definitely doesn’t come home for the holidays, for example). In fact, in that sense, it often acts as a PG-13 Shane Black movie, Mix action and sparkle with aplomb. Both are treated with equal thought; The holiday setting is textured and lively, and the action sequences are well choreographed and engaging. In particular, Kate’s fighting style is amazing. The show builds on enough narrative reasoning that her technical skills are unquestionable, and it’s really fun to see a hero who’s instantly great at what they do (if not great). immediately great on how to do). So seeing Kate turn her car around and flip her through a taxi-crowded NYC street as a giant Christmas tree glows in the background is nothing short of exhilarating.

That brings us to Hawkeye’s most powerful secret weapon, production designer Maya Shimoguchi and decorator Missy Parker. Each setting in the first two episodes is a living breathing space that not only feels alive, but tells us a lot about what we’re seeing. There’s an attention to detail that goes beyond the MCU’s usual dedication to the Avengers’ shiny Easter eggs or New York City. No matter where we follow Kate and Clint, we learn something new, feel something different, and get lost in thoughts. mis en scène. It’s another way of setting Hawkeye apart from what’s come before. It’s less intentional and more obvious than WandaVision, but living is much more messy and engaging than the clinical “real world” tone of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. All that said, though, if the ambitious sci-fi storytelling of people and Loki is what draws you in, then the quieter, sweeter tunes and lower stakes of Hawk Eye can make you want.

How willing you are to get into that fun tune, will determine how much you enjoy it. Early on, we can see how much talk music comes from Rogers the Musical. It’s bold, meta, a certified music beater, and laughs at the Avengers and pokes fun at Clint himself. It’s the polar opposite of the hero’s dark Ronin era in the MCU. But it fits perfectly with the whimsical tone of the comics that inspired the show.

As a fan of manga, it’s hard to watch Hawk Eye – as interesting as it is – and don’t think about the people whose work was clearly taken for the series. The big inspiration here is 2012’s Aja and Fraction Hawk Eye series. Everything from logos to promotional materials through the character representations, story, and tone of the show coming from that series. It’s one of the closest adaptations we’ve ever seen. And while writer Fraction was cast as a Consultant Producer, Aja only received a Special Thank You and tweeted about wanting to be paid by Disney. It’s a particularly grim example of creator exploitation in Aja’s case, as his art has been elevated directly to the series credits and all the PR gimmicks for the show. program. And that’s before we get to the characters he’s been involved in creating and the aesthetic of the entire series. For this reviewer, that aspect that makes up the sweet pieces are the first two episodes of Hawk Eye bit bitter.

While that aspect of creating the series might not be important to some viewers, it’s still important to note, especially every single one of us. Marvel and DC production also have this problem. That said, this adaptation of Aja and Fraction’s Hawk Eye Smart, goofy, great shooter and manages to tweak the worst Avenger in a way that works. Plus, it promises us a new generation of heroes who can be better than their predecessors, and isn’t that just what the world needs?

The first two episodes of Hawk Eye premieres on Disney Plus on November 24


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Hawk Eye

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New movie premieres on Disney Plus on November 24

https://www.polygon.com/22797611/hawkeye-premiere-review-hailee-steinfeld Hawkeye Review: Hailee Steinfeld makes Jeremy Renner’s Avenger shine

Aila Slisco

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