November 29, 2021

CABLE | A Very Marvel Christmas – 'Hawkeye' Hits the Mark

"You saved our city."
Hailee Steinfeld Jonathan Igla Rhys Thomas | Marvel's Hawkeye on Disney+
Marvel Studios
Marvel Studios' latest miniseries keeps its story refreshingly small-scale and low-stakes for a fun yet relatively grounded six-episode buddy comedy action-adventure set during Christmas in New York. Starring Jeremy Renner as everyone's least favourite Avenger, Clint Barton—the one good at archery without any powersHawkeye's first standalone entry, created by Jonathan Igla, is loosely based on the acclaimed comic book run (Lucky the Pizza Dog!) by writer Matt Fraction (a consulting producer) and artist David Aja.

Co-starring a very spunky Hailee Steinfeld as Hawkeye protégé Kate Bishop, their arrow-based characters become entangled after certain ghosts from Barton's past resurface from his pre-Endgame Ronin days. Vera Farmiga and Tony Dalton as Bishop's icy mother and suspicious stepfather-to-be also make for intriguing foils as Marvel uses their existing on-screen continuity to shape new characters and storylines without bogging viewers down in too much needless backstory.

Initial director Rhys Thomas—duo Bert & Bertie helm the three middle episodes—gives the series a very pleasing New York City holiday season vibe while keeping things moving with a tight, limited timeframe counting down to Christmas Day. Its light tone and breezy pace never take things too seriously being freed from the world-shattering stakes of half the world's population disappearing and reappearing or any other multiverse shenanigans.

This most recent MCU series entry is just a lot of plain fun both enjoyed inside and outside Marvel's existing cinematic cannon. Renner relishes fleshing out his overlooked Avenger character as a worn-down Hawkeye with a fraught history and baggage in contrast to Steinfeld's winning zeal and enthusiasm as a budding Young Avenger just starting out.

Hawkeye is available to stream weekly on Disney+.

More | YVArcade / AV Club / Indiewire / Polygon

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