As Marvel Studios continues to diversify its content portfolio, the most memorable projects are the ones that successfully mix new, exciting genres into the MCU. With a long list of genres to tap into, Hawkeye tries to tackle the Christmas classic just in time for the holiday season. In the first two episodes, Marvel seems to be striking the perfect balance between Christmas magic and the grounded MCU development necessary for an original Avenger.
Hawkeye follows Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) as his family trip to New York City is interrupted by fellow archer Kate Bishop (Hailey Steinfeld). Bishop’s dreams of following in the footsteps of her favorite Avenger are stunted by the harsh realities of crime-fighting and the classic family drama that comes with it.
Hailey Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop is a fantastic addition to the next generation of MCU heroes. Steinfeld perfectly captures the wit, charm, and sense of adventure that defines Kate Bishop in the comics and is an incredible successor to the Hawkeye mantle.
Jeremy Renner continues to be charismatic as Clint Barton. Giving Hawkeye a family was always a controversial decision in the MCU, but this show embraces that creative decision, and the franchise is better for it. Clint Barton finally gets his time in the spotlight, and his character development relies on the groundwork set by his history in the MCU. Barton’s path is linked to Bishop’s, and their buddy-cop chemistry sets up a perfect NYC Christmas adventure.
The Christmas setting is the greatest strength of this show. It’s not often that we get an MCU project that melds two genres so perfectly. Still, Hawkeye manages to capture the magic of a Christmas adventure while at the same time moving the MCU forward in interesting new directions. If the show can stay on its current path, watching Hawkeye will surely be a new Christmas tradition for MCU fans.
Filmnetic Grade: A