I got to see a preview screening of The Avengers Wednesday night, and I need to amend my earlier comments regarding Hawkeye’s archery technique a little bit. I can’t give you a review of the film, at least not yet, but there are a few points that need to be addressed.
First, most of what I talked about before is glaringly obvious in the publicity photos, but goes by very quickly in the film, usually while a lot of other stuff is going on. You have to really be looking for it to notice Hawkeye’s archery while Hulk, Thor and Iron Man are busily breaking things all over the place.
Second, it’s really easy to forgive the few really obvious gaffes because Renner is just so interesting as an actor. He sells the role, and his scenes with Black Widow have a genuineness and depth to them. He makes a convincing Hawkeye, and I’m sure that they will correct his form gaffes for the sequel.
Third, I suspect they may have corrected a few shots. I noticed that in a few shots, all of which are effects-laden scenes with no other humans in them, where Renner is blasting away at a plethora of baddies while destruction rains down around him, he’s not doing any of the things I pointed out. He’s shooting very well in a number of key scenes, and whether they were originally shot that way or not, he looks good. There are still a few scenes that make me twitch a little, but I let them go by because they are instantly replaced by some new scene of awesomeness. In the context of the film, they don’t matter so much, though they certainly will be a topic of discussion at a lot of archery ranges.
But even so, I think my original point stands. Renner said in an interview that the injury he suffered during the making of the film was during an archery sequence; perhaps receiving proper training on the set could have prevented that. Archery is not supposed to hurt. It would also make me very happy if he were to find that he enjoys the sport and decided to continue with it, as many other actors in the past have done: celebrity archers include Patrick Warburton; Dan Aykroyd; Tim Allen; William Shatner; Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.; Stana Katic; and Dr. Chang from Lost, Francois Chau.
Since writing the three archery articles last month (Brave and Hunger Games being the others) I have seen a dramatic upturn in public awareness of and interest in archery. Some clubs are reporting as much as a 75% increase in attendance at their lessons; my home club, Pasadena Roving Archers, is filled to capacity every week, and we have been featured on every local TV news program and in several newspapers and magazines. Every Louis Vuitton store in the world featured an archery-themed window display this month. Archery is the hot new sport (even though it’s one of the oldest activities known to man), and Avengers is only going to add to that.
With that in mind, I can only conclude by saying: Thanks, Jeremy Renner, for helping to boost our sport! Come out to the range some time and shoot a round with us, and you’ll look even more awesome in the inevitable Hawkeye solo movie.
This article, by Jim MacQuarrie, was originally published on April 27.