WARNING: The following review contains spoilers for Hawkeye.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year to be a Marvel fan. After being treated to the cinematic event, Spider-Man: No Way Home, fans are now being treated to the finale that completes the Disney+ miniseries, Hawkeye. This Christmas action-adventure series features Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye, the bow-and-arrow-wielding Avenger who teams up with a young archer named Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) to solve a murder mystery as he promises his family he’ll be home in time for Christmas.
All six episodes of the series are now streaming. Hawkeye is perhaps the most pleasant surprise of the holiday season. While Marvel’s other shows of 2021, such as The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki, took themselves very seriously with their subject matter, Hawkeye was a step in a different direction. This is a ground-level superhero adventure that wanted to have fun above anything else, and it succeeded in volumes.
This show was a breath of fresh, wintry air. It was just what we needed for the holidays as Clint and Kate have to solve a mystery in New York City during the Christmas series. It’s an excellent idea to have Clint forced into action when he’d rather be decorating gingerbread houses with his family, as he doesn’t want to be there but quickly realizes he has no choice. Renner portrays this very well, having perfected a character he has played for the past ten years.
Hawkeye also offers the MCU’s newest asset: Kate Bishop. She is one of the most likable characters to join the growing universe of heroes as a funny, skilled badass. Steinfeld portrays her perfectly as the optimist to Renner’s pessimist, and the chemistry the two have onscreen is a big reason why the show works so well. Clint and Kate bounce off each other perfectly, and their partnership and eventual friendship are pretty wholesome.
The first villains on the show were the Tracksuit Mafia, a group of villains with amusing moments. They’re deliberately the villains the audience cares the least about, and the strength of the other characters allows for these characters to exist. Next, the show introduces Maya Lopez/Echo, who serves as the commander of the Tracksuit Mafia. She is portrayed marvelously by first-time actress Alaqua Cox, a real-life deaf amputee who brings these qualities to her character. She has a riveting presence that culminates in fascinating places in the finale, where the character’s goal of killing Ronin begins to change.
We also have the introduction of Vincent D’Onofrio as Kingpin, who has previously portrayed the character in the Netflix MCU series, Daredevil. His anticipation and arrival in the show were executed very well, and his fight with Kate was fantastic. The season finale is one of Marvel’s stronger closers, with everything culminating in an aesthetically pleasing, well-choreographed final battle at the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center.
And we haven’t even begun to discuss the return of Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova from Black Widow. The series picks up from the post-credits scene of that film, where Yelena believes Clint is responsible for the death of Natasha Romanoff. Yelena’s introduction in Episode 4 was a surprising reveal, and this was followed by an excellently written mac and cheese scene with a fun dynamic between Yelena and Kate in Episode 5. The final fight between Clint and Yelena in Episode 6 is exciting, and it ends with an emotional moment where the two realize how much they miss Natasha.
It’s hard to pick one standout moment from a show with so many. Episode 3 has a phenomenal car chase with a long take, and the action setpieces are brought to a new level with trick arrows made with Stark and Pym technology. As far as superhero miniseries go, Hawkeye hits the bullseye with its simple premise and whimsical execution. This is the perfect show to bring Christmas cheer to a time where many are looking for it; it’s a show that even casual Marvel watchers can sit back and enjoy with cookies and a glass of milk.
As ComingSoon’s review policy explains, a score of 8 equates to “Great.” While there are a few minor issues, this score means that the art succeeds at its goal and leaves a memorable impact.