The first two episodes of the highly anticipated series on Hawkeye and his protege, Kate Bishop leaves a lot to be desired
Set after the events of Black Widow, the series follows Kate Bishop as she stumbles onto a criminal conspiracy. She coincidentally runs into her idol, Clint Barton/Hawkeye, and the two seek answers to a grizzly murder.
The cries for a stand-alone Hawkeye film or TV series was finally heard by Marvel Studios’ head honcho Kevin Feige. The character is one of the few Avengers without any superpowers or power-enhancing suits, making him a rather unique character - a poor man’s Batman of sorts. But unlike his hugely popular DC comics counterpart, Hawkeye in the MCU lacks psychological complexities and emotional depth to his character. Avengers Endgame did try to rectify this by giving a fleshed out arc, but the glaringly obvious plot holes in the film overshadowed any character development Clint Barton had in the film. It is a shame considering how well Avengers: Infinity War was prior to Endgame.
The plot holes in Endgame makes it a less convincing prospect to take events that follow, in Falcon and the Winter Soldier and WandaVision, very seriously. For the sake of objectivity, even if the show were to be considered a self-contained narrative, it is bogged down by several narrative and editing issues. However, Jeremy Renner does an immaculate job in reprising his role as the MCU golden archer. The same cannot be said about Hailee Steinfeld’s portrayal of Kate Bishop, as it is an unapologetically generic character. It has probably got more to do with how poorly the character has been written, rather than Steinfeld’s capability as an actor.
Thematically, there are some very obvious nods to Christmas comedy dramas from the 90s and early 2000s, but it is jarring how Clint Barton has been placed in this environment, even more so considering how dark his character Ronin was in Endgame. The MCU's reluctance to get rid of its cheesy humour and formulaic themes that screams ‘MCU template’ makes Hawkeye a tedious watch. Vera Farminga as Elenor Bishop and Tony Dalton as Jack Duquesne are interesting additions as supporting characters. In fact, Duquesne could play a more pivotal role as the character is Clint Barton’s mentor in the comics and a villain/anti-hero.
Disney’s newest addition to its original programming for the Marvel IP is a poorly written generic mess that misses the mark in its execution, based on the first two episodes.