So, I just watched the finale episode for “Hawkeye” on Disney+, and I’m not sure what to think about it. It had a production value which was close to the same level as an actual Marvel movie, with fight scenes which were well choreographed. I get that the series lately are designed to take us into the next phase of Marvel movies. But, I felt like some of the plot elements were so silly or forced, that the show felt almost like a live-action version of a cartoon. You don’t expect strong writing in a “Transformers” or “G.I. Joe” movie, because those are based on a cartoon which was based around toys. But, a Marvel production, I think, should have more substance.
The first episode was compelling enough, with the introduction of Hailee Steinfeld as the next generation of expert archers, Kate Bishop. The very first scene took us back to a portion of the events from the first “Avengers” movie, and tried to explain why she got into archery and became interested in Clint Barton, a.k.a. Hawkeye. This approach was interesting, but I began to wonder how many times they are going to use references to the past when setting up a character’s motivations. The series then introduces a murder mystery, and of course brings Barton and Bishop together. This leads to beats in the story which could have been handled with far more creativity.
At it’s core, “Hawkeye” is a TV spinoff series based on a movie, like we often would see in the late 80’s and 90’s. For example, “Smallville” was a more dramatic take on Superman’s story, and ran for several seasons. But, those shows would be given smaller budgets for special effects or action seasons, so they would try harder to tell a strong story. I feel like the Marvel TV series have the opposite problem. They have far bigger budgets, but don’t always tell their stories in the most compelling way. In the end, “Hawkeye” was sometimes frustrating because while it was fun, it had potential to be something bigger.