The premiere finds Hawkeye/Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) in New York City with his children, leaving behind his impatient wife (Linda Cardellini). But the early focus is on young Kate (Hailee Steinfeld) and her origin story, after she lost her father and — inspired by Hawkeye’s example — devoted herself to mastering combat and archery, which comes in handy pretty quickly.
Kate essentially stumbles upon a strange conspiracy, and in the process stumbles upon an artifact destined to get Clint’s attention. Understandably, however, he’s cranky as he gets involved in a mystery that will keep him in New York and threaten the family time he’s been hoping for for Christmas in a few days.
However, as initially lined up, the fights the pair face involve a particularly tired group of miscreants. Even a show that approaches its episodic run like an extra-long movie owes audiences a little more momentum than this, especially when those episodes roll out weekly.
So what’s left? A really laughable joke in the first episode, and the interplay between the down-to-earth Clint and the eager Kate, with Steinfeld well chosen for some sort of stick (or arrow) pass, but poorly fleshed out as a character in the early going.
Besides entering the world of superheroes, Kate’s problems are also that her mother (Vera Farmiga, initially little used) has entered into a new relationship with Jack (“Better Call Saul’s” Tony Dalton), which sparks Kate’s suspicions.
“Hawkeye” will premiere on Disney+ on November 24.