TV Review: Hawkeye, 1×1, “Never Meet Your Heroes”

User Rating: 5

Holding a bow and arrow is something I don’t think I will ever physically be able to do. I will never feel the pull of the string or the release of the arrow. The closest I will ever get to that is watching other fictional archers do their thing. One such archer is The Avengers’ Hawkeye.  He is the subject of a new Disney+ series starring Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld, and it’s called, you guessed it, Hawkeye.

The premise of Hawkeye is pretty simple. Kate Bishop and her family were in New York at the time of the Battle for New York, and it was on that day that she lost her father. After that loss, Kate and her family are saved by Hawkeye. That one act of good prompts her to take up archery and martial arts. Kate eventually finds herself working at the security firm her father started only to discover duplicitous things happening behind the scenes, and her mother is completely unaware of the illegal activity. During a black market auction, Kate steals the Ronin suit Clint used during the Blip, not knowing the implication of wearing such a garment. This sends her on a path fighting against gangsters, mafia, and other criminal elements.

I’ve always liked Marvel properties, but my issue with this one is no different than any other TV show or movie I’ve reviewed. Steinfeld’s Kate is a likable presence, but for someone who’s supposed to be 22, she acts a lot more like she’s 16 and overly headstrong. It’s good to see a female character with convictions, but she does all this detective work about the criminal corruption in her mother’s company on a hunch. Every action she takes is something done without much thought. Having a character work on that much impulse rather than critical thinking seems like the wrong message to send to the target audience of this show.  Any sort of message this show is sending isn’t a positive one.  Kate acts so recklessly that I’m surprised she’s not dead even though she has self-defense skills.

Hawkeye is one of those characters from the Marvel canon that never really struck a chord with me.  While it’s nice to see him with his family, I’m more intrigued about how all the battles he’s fought through have affected him. There is still a bit of a charm to the character, especially when he’s in difficult situations, like the first time he takes down a gang after Kate. He really only meets Kate because he sees her saving a dog on the news while she’s wearing his suit. That is a really awkward way for our two lead characters to meet.

“Never Meet Your Heroes” does everything to introduce us to the environment Clint and Kate will inhabit, but nothing to make us genuinely worry about their safety or whether or not they will get along as partners. You can already see how they clash from a mile away. This is poor scriptwriting. It’s always essential to establish the chemistry of the two main characters, but there are many other ways this could be done successfully without it feeling like complete pageantry.  I want to like this series, but it needs to have energy and life that will allow both characters to showcase their skills and support each other. Hawkeye needs to aim higher.

Hawkeye is now streaming on Disney+.

Written by
Chike has been a film critic in Illinois for the last 10 years with Urbana Public Television. Most of his work can be found on their YouTube channel where his show Reel Reviews is posted. The films he enjoys most are the kind that surprise you with characters that are deeper than you could ever suspect. As much as he loves reviewing it’s the stories that are unexpected that bring him the most joy. He lives in Champaign with his parents surrounded by cornfields.

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