It’s hard to believe there have been three streaming Marvel TV shows before Hawkeye. Because the new show feels so fresh and fun, there’s almost a case to be made that this show should have been the first of the new Disney+ MCU shows. And, if you’re looking for something to watch with slightly older kids (7+) Hawkeye is maybe the most family-oriented Marvel jam since Spider-Man: Far From Home. In its first two episodes, Hawkeye hits the bullseye for families in a way Marvel hasn’t done in a while. No spoilers ahead.
One of the reasons why Hawkeye works so well is that the titular Clint Barton (Jeremey Renner) is one of the first-string, real-deal Avengers. Sure, Clint seems like a benchwarmer in movies like The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron, but, the truth is, he’s still on A-squad. This is the guy who recruited Wanda into the Avengers, and the guy who went apesh*t bananas murdering criminals after his family got zapped by Thanos in Infinity War and Endgame.
Some of that baggage makes its way into the opening moments of Hawkeye, but the show isn’t as ruminative as Falcon and Winter Soldier, and not as fatalist as Loki. As the trailers reveal, it’s Christmastime, and Clint is on vacation in NYC with his three kids. They even attend a musical based on the life of Steve Rogers with hilarious results. Sandwiched into all of this is the journey of Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) a rich-kid martial arts overachiever who became inspired by Hawkeye during the 2012 events of the first Avengers movie.
While the story of Kate might seem like a distraction in a show called “Hawkeye,” the truth is, Steinfeld carries the show. She’s hilarious, naive, and funny all at the same time. For parents with older kids, Steinfeld’s Kate will be the reason why you’ll want to watch. Will she join forces with Hawkeye? Will they see eye-to-eye? Will we figure out what’s really going on with all the criminal underworld stuff in NYC?
Without getting into specifics, Hawkeye honors its place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe without getting too bogged down in the mythology. Clint seems genuinely tired by the idea of the Avengers and even mentions Tony Stark’s name with a sense of exhaustion. Renner plays a tired dad who is getting hit up with extra work while he’s on vacation. And he plays it perfectly.
Hawkeye has something for elementary school-aged kids, something for hardcore Marvel fans, something for casual fans, something for Hawkeye stans, and also something for families. It’s a great reminder that these superhero stories aren’t always supposed to be dark and grim. Sometimes, we can have fun, too.
Hawkeye‘s first two episodes hit Disney+ on Wednesday, November 24, 2022. The next episodes drop on subsequent Wednesdays after that.
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