Archery expert: Avengers pics prove Hawkeye is a terrible archer

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Dec 16, 2012

Jeremy Renner may look like a bad son of a gun as Hawkeye in Marvel's The Avengers—but apparently his archery skills leave much to be desired.

In a piece for Wired, archery aficionado Jim MacQuarrie says Hawkeye handles his bow "like a rank amateur."

"Does this ruin the movie? No. But if they'd gotten it right, the film would be even better; attention to the details is usually an indicator of attention to the big picture," he wrote. "In a few interviews last year, Renner said he was taking archery lessons in preparation for the role, but from what I see here, it looks like he (a) had no coach and was entirely self-taught; (b) had an incompetent coach (there are many out there); or (c) is a terrible student and refused to do what his coach told him. The simple fact is, I see these exact same mistakes with first-time students all the time."

For one, Renner's costume features two arm guards, while most experienced archers opt for one, or none.

"Why would the world's greatest archer wear two arm guards? Some of my students don't even use one, so why does he need two?" MacQuarrie asked. "Because he's smacking the crap out of his arm, that's why. I bet there are many hilarious out-takes of Renner wincing, shaking his injured arm and cursing a lot after each shot."

The Avengers star also has a wonky grip on the bow, which would likely lead to some wildly errant shots, MacQuarrie said.

"Notice that Hawkeye has his elbow oriented at a 45° angle, while [archery expert Brady] Ellison's is vertical," he wrote. "What this means is Hawkeye has a nice big muscle protruding out into the path of the string, hence the second arm guard."

Though the film may spur some new interest in archery, MacQuarrie said he hopes would-be Hawkeyes will also learn the basics.

"I am really not looking forward to all the kids who will show up on the range wanting to shoot like Hawkeye," he wrote. "They will want to try it this way, I will tell them why it doesn't work, they will try it anyway, and I will get to climb the hillside and pick arrows out of the bushes. Not my idea of a good time."

Oh, well. At least if Hawkeye misses, he still has the Hulk to jump in and smash 'em up.

(via Wired)