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Hawkeye Episode 1 and 2 – Review

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Marvel Studios

Episodes one and two of Hawkeye from Marvel are here, streaming now on Disney Plus. It’s time for the next chapter in the MCU story. Here’s our Hawkeye review.

SPOILERS: If you’re reading this then you’ve probably seen the show, but if not there are spoilers ahead.

Hawkeye is the freshest TV series from the Marvel production line. And the latest to promote an MCU character to star billing in their own small screen vehicle.

Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) is one of the MCU characters who has flown slightly under the radar in his appearances. He has been left somewhat in the background while the likes of Iron Man, Captain America and Thor were centre stage.

New faces old places

This series isn’t a one-man show, as most of Episode one is dedicated to explaining the back story of Kate Bishop. Played by Hailee Steinfeld. She’s been born into a very wealthy New York family, with their fingers seemingly in a plethora of pies.

We pick up her story in the midst of 2012’s Battle of New York in Avengers Assemble. As Hawkeye and the rest of The Avengers battle the Chitauri, Kate watches on from her bedroom. Where her family’s opulent Manhattan home is partially destroyed in the battle. As the firefight continues with the Bishop’s about to be sent into oblivion, an arrow from Hawkeye destroys the projectile heading their way and saves the day. At this moment, Kate’s obsession with Clint Barton begins. She sees him swinging off buildings and going toe to toe with the Chitauri.

She and her mother escape the fight but her father is nowhere to be seen, seemingly killed in the chaos. But given we never see his body. I think there’s a fair chance he’ll probably reappear later on in this six-episode season.

Present day

Moving to the present day, Kate is an accomplished archer and college student who accidentally destroys the clock tower of her college while involved with some arrow-based hi-jinks with her friends. She returns home to her rebuilt family home to discover that her mother is engaged to Steven Toast facsimile Jack Duquesne, much to Kate’s dismay.

And yes, I can hear you Clem Fandango.

They head to an exclusive party, with the great and good of New York where Kate encounters Jack’s uncle Armand. Who is none too happy about the engagement. Jack and Armad then head to a secret auction of exclusive black-market items in the bowels of the venue. Kate follows them and the whole event is infiltrated by the ridiculously named tracksuit mafia who are trying to steal the items being auctioned including The Ronin’s suit and sword. Kate wears the suit while disabling the attackers, escapes and is eventually cornered.

Rogers the Musical

Barton is in New York on a pre-Christmas trip with his children. This includes watching the deliberately ridiculous Steve Rogers musical. He sees the news footage suggesting his vengeful alter ego The Ronin has returned and realises it must be an impostor. He saves Kate from the tracksuit mafia goons and they escape to Kate’s own apartment. That only provides temporary respite as the mafia catch up to them and set fire to her home. In the midst of her escape, she has discovered that Armand has been brutally murdered with a sword in his own home. This is a great shame, as I’m sure the wonderful Simon Callow would have been fantastic entertainment in this series.

Episode two

Episode two sees her holed up at her Aunt’s apartment in hiding. With her recently acquired a stray one-eyed pizza-eating dog. I genuinely can’t believe I’ve just written that sentence. Meanwhile, Hawkeye has returned to her fire-damaged apartment to find The Ronin suit which they left there as they fled the flames. Needless to say, it has disappeared so Barton is then on a mission to find it, rather than heading home with his children.

What follows is pretty tedious in all honesty as he ends up in a bizarre live-action role play in order to get his suit back from someone who has found it and thought it was some type of fancy dress item. I presume this was intended to be funny, but it just didn’t land at all. After getting it back, he is captured by the tracksuit wearing heavies. He is taken to their HQ and insists that he meet their boss and the person he thinks currently has Ronin’s suit.

Kate discovers he has been captured and hamfistedly attempts to infiltrate their bunker, getting herself captured in the process. We get our first sighting of Echo who is certainly one of the antagonists in this series as Clint and Kate await their fate.

Nothing new

The fact that I’ve combined the opening two episodes into one review says much about the excitement level in the opening of this series. The pacing of these episodes was awful. The two episodes could easily have been combined into one feature-length opener. That would really set this series off and running, without losing any of the stories. Jeremy Renner looks like he wishes he was anywhere else but in this series. The whole plot feels forced and contrived. I enjoyed Hailee Steinfeld’s performance as Kate but there is simply no tension or threat to this show at the moment. It appears to be a type of slightly comedic murder mystery with some very hammy characters and acting.

I worry that the sheer volume of Marvel material being thrown at us is lessening the quality of their output. The production values are still extraordinary but the clichés used within some of these shows and films are so obvious, my Hawk-eyes are constantly rolling at the clumsiness of their use.

I hope I’m proved wrong by the end of this series but I struggled to keep my Hawk-eyes open at times.


CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 4/10


Thank you for reading our review of Hawkeye Episodes 1 and 2. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.


Check out the trailer for Morbius HERE.

Read IMDB information about Hawkeye HERE.

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Cobra Kai Season 4 – Review

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Cobra Kai Season Four image
Netflix

Cobra Kai season four is out now on Netflix and the All Valley is back and better than ever. Here’s our review.

SPOILERS: If you’re reading this then you’ve probably seen the show, but if not there are spoilers ahead.

It’s January, and new shows are popping up everywhere. This brings us to the show that I and my friends have been holding our breaths for: the fourth season of the hit Netflix series Cobra Kai! After three seasons, I wondered if there was anything left to mine from the Karate Kid lore or the Johnny/Daniel dynamic. I am happy to report that this might be my favourite season yet! It manages to not only expand upon the universe it has created, but to bring in a new villain, who is so bad that he threatens to outdo even John Kreese!

Alliance

Season four sets us off where the third left off, with Johnny and Daniel having joined forces to fight Cobra Kai. Their friendship arc is the glue that holds this season together. The story focuses largely on whether they will be able to pull it together and make their partnership work. As in previous seasons, their relationship has its ups and downs. The stakes are heightened, however, as the season leads up to the All-Valley Tournament. A bet between the three senseis – Kreese, Daniel, and Johnny – means that losing the All Valley is losing the title of sensei.

This season explores the ways that both Johnny and Daniel work with the kids. It also examines the kids’ struggles as they prepare for the All Valley while dealing with conflict within the ever-changing network of friends and enemies in the dojos. Robbie has left juvenile hall and decided to join up with Cobra Kai as a means of inflicting revenge on both his dad and Daniel. Tori and Sam continue their rivalry. And John Reese’s old friend Terry Silver (of Karate Kid 3 fame) shows up to kick Cobra Kai into high gear.

Daniel’s son, Anthony, who has largely been absent until now, faces his own dilemma when his friends begin bullying Kenny, the new kid in town. This soft-spoken middle school character brings us into the world of the younger kids, setting up yet another storyline. Kenny becomes the victim of a gang of kids (including Anthony), enduring round after round of bullying before Robbie takes him under his wing. After his induction into Cobra Kai, the formerly shy middle-schooler becomes a bully himself.

Shades of grey

This brings me to one of my favourite things about the show. The constant back and forth dynamic between characters makes us feel that anything is possible. There is no black and white in the world of Cobra Kai. Where the Karate Kid told us that Daniel was good, and Johnny was bad, this show gives us a very different point of view. It’s a world where we’re never sure who to root for. In this season, we even see Hawk make a return to the “good guys” side after giving up his spot at Cobra Kai.

With Eagle Fang (Johnny’s new dojo) and Miyagi-Do teaming up, the kids – and the adults – have to learn to work together. Of course, complications ensue. Johnny becomes jealous of what he perceives as Miguel’s preference for Daniel over him. Sam wants to learn both her dad’s karate style and Johnny’s, despite her father’s discouragement. Meanwhile, at Cobra Kai, Kreese is losing his grip on the dojo. His former war buddy, Terry Silver, puts off a rather benign appearance in episode one, growing more and more evil with each episode.

This season is lacking in many of the big fight scenes of the previous seasons, instead choosing to focus their energy on the characters. The All Valley Tournament features several great karate matches and offers a satisfying conclusion to Johnny and Daniel’s arc. In the end, Cobra Kai takes the tournament win, but Johnny and Daniel have reached an understanding.

New champions

Tori defeats Sam to take the women’s All Valley trophy but later overhears her sensei paying off one of the referees. It’s clear that Cobra Kai has pulled yet another fast one. But the season ends on an even more ominous – and unexpected – note. Terry Silver assaults the over-aged former Cobra Kai member, Stingray, sending him to the hospital. He then makes a deal with Stingray to blame the crime on Kreese. We end the season with Kreese in handcuffs, Terry Silver set to take over Cobra Kai, and the future of Eagle Fang and Miyagi-Do uncertain. In a last shocking twist, Miguel leaves town in search of his biological father.

Although some may miss the school hallway throw downs, I found this one satisfying in a different way. It just goes to show that the ever-expanding Cobra Kai universe can keep bringing surprises season after season.


CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 9/10


Thank you for reading our review of Cobra Kai season four. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.


Check out our Hawkeye episode one and two review HERE.

Read IMDB information about Spider-Man: No Way Home HERE.

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