Hawkeye TV Reviews: What Are Critics' First Reactions?

Hawkeye Show Background Poster
By Klein Felt

Hawkeye is on the horizon and fans are bursting at the seams with excitement. What will be Marvel Studios' fifth Disney+ series, and Jeremey Renner's first solo project for his bow-wielding Avenger, is looking to be quite the adventure. 

The superheroic streaming epic takes place over the holiday season, as Renner's Clint Barton attempts to complete one more mission in time to get home for Christmas. Hawkeye will have some help in this journey as Hailee Steinfeld takes on the role of iconic Marvel Comics character Kate Bishop; the series will also feature Alaqua Cox as the deaf hero Echo

Marketing for Hawkeye is in full swing, with recent trailers, TV spots, and promo images being plastered all over the globe. The series - which will surely have some sort of presence at Disney+ Day - premieres on November 24, and now, the first reactions for the first two episodes are finally here. 

What Are The Critics Saying About Hawkeye

Hawkeye
Marvel

Critics have been given access to the first two episodes of Hawkeye ahead of its November 24 premiere Disney+. The first reactions are now coming online following the social media embargo lifting.

Andy Ortiz from The Wrap praised Hailee Steinfeld's Kate Bishop and "Dad Barton:"

"The first 2 episodes of Hawkeye are really promising. Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop is everything you want her to be (truly cannot wait to see her interact with Yelena) and Dad Barton is the purest. I won't spoil anything but this: it acknowledges Nat's death properly for me."

Gizmodo's Germain Lussier said that the series is "light and breezy" similar to the work of filmmaker "Shane Black:"

"I really enjoyed the first two episodes of Hawkeye. It's light and breezy in a very Shane Black way but the depths to which it simultaneously explores Clint's trauma and Kate's privilege really surprised me. Not 100% sold on the story yet but the characters are excellent."

The Direct's own Matt Roembke claimed viewers should "Prepare to fall in love with both Hawkeyes:"

The MCU steps back from the big scale and Hawkeye brings us a street level story full of heart. Hailee Steinfeld is an instant MCU favorite and Jeremy Renner plays the perfect veteran superhero. Prepare to fall in love with both Hawkeyes.  This is THAT comic brought to life.

Brian Davids from The Hollywood Reporter mentioned "street-level stakes" and highlighted Steinfeld mentioning that she "steal[s] the show:"

"If you're a fan of street-level stakes in the MCU like I am, then #Hawkeye is right in your wheelhouse. Hailee Steinfeld and Tony "Tell Me Again" Dalton truly steal the show, and I'm already looking forward to the day when Kate Bishop meets Yelena Belova."

Collider's very own Perri Nemiroff continues the praise touching on a "great mix of playfulness & sense of danger" found in the series:

Very into Hawkeye after 2 episodes. (Ep. 1 is especially good!) It's got a great mix of playfulness & sense of danger/real stakes to it. Can't imagine better casting for Kate than Hailee Steinfeld. Her timing/tone is spot on & I'm loving her chemistry with Jeremy Renner so far.

Eric Italiano was not as high on the first two episodes, saying that they "cobbled together and undercooked:"

"Maybe it’s because I’m not in the Christmas spirit yet, but the early episodes of Hawkeye don’t really do it for me. It feels cobbled together and undercooked, as if Marvel said to themselves, 'Well, the audience has enjoyed XYZ before, so let’s give that to them again!'"

Fandom Managing Editor Eric Goldman touched on"some interesting new insight into Clint’s POV" of the MCU and adored the "fun duo" of Barton and Bishop:

I’ve seen the first two episodes of Hawkeye and really dug them. It gives you some interesting new insight into Clint’s POV and Kate is instantly incredibly endearing. Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld make for a really fun duo. Also, Lucky the Pizza Dog is a very good boy.

Jim Viscardi from Comicbook.com touched on an interesting tidbit, mentioning that Hawkeye feels like "the most TV show like Disney+ project" yet:

Hawkeye is the street-level show, through the lens of the MCU we’ve been waiting for. Hailee Steinfeld steals every single scene she is in. It’s also the most TV show like Disney+ project we’ve gotten yet.

BuzzFeed's Nora Dominick heaped on the enthusiasm for Steinfeld's MCU debut by prognosticating that it's going to "be such a joy to watch her soar:"

 Hailee Steinfeld is incredible as Kate Bishop. She brings Kate's humor and ambition to the MCU perfectly and I can already tell it's going to be such a joy to watch her soar. With these first two eps, Hailee and Jeremy Renner's dynamic is funny and fantastic.

Despite calling "good, Christmasy fun," entertainment critic Richard Newby did mention that the show feels "the least ambitious of the MCU series thus far:"

Hawkeye is good, Christmasy fun. It does feel the least ambitious of the MCU series thus far (obviously that could change after 2 episodes). Reminds me a bit of the Netflix series. Hailee Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop is a treat and I can’t wait until she meets Pugh’s Yelena."

And writer Andrea Towers is another happy camper, exclaiming that she "cannot overstate how IN LOVE" she is with the series: 

"I’ve seen the first 2 eps of Hawkeye! I cannot overstate how IN LOVE I am. 💜 It’s smart, funny, full of heart, & beautifully melds the Fraction/Aja comic with the MCU. Hailee Steinfeld and Jeremy Renner are PERFECTION — the Kate and Clint team-up I’ve always dreamed of seeing."

The Reviews Are In

All of these reactions are good news for those eagerly awaiting the Hawkeye premiere. It seems the most enthusiasm is being thrown towards rising star Hailee Steinfeld here, and in these first two episodes, Steinfeld appears to quickly cement herself as a mainstay in the MCU. 

An interesting thing to note here is the street-level story that is being presented. For some, those street-level stakes are surely going to feel small when compared to the intergalactic/multiversal storytelling fans have become accustomed to in the MCU, but that smaller story seems like a breath of fresh air to some. 

While most of the reactions have been positive here, there were some negatives. In direct relation to that smaller story, Richard Newby did mention that Hawkeye feels a bit like the Marvel Netflix series of years passed. Now, althoughnot all of those Netflix properties were bad by any means, rarely did they ever hit the highs of the MCU. 

Hawkeye kicks off its run on Disney+ on November 24. 

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