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Length: 6 x episodes (40-50 minutes each)
There are certain roles, when played by certain actors, that result in a perfect fusion. Roles that you can’t imagine anyone else playing. You’ve got Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley and, of course, Tom Hiddleston as Loki.
Now, let’s be blunt, Tom Hiddleston seems like a nice bloke, and is obviously not hard on the eyes, but once he dons those iconic horns, the green cape and adopts that haughty attitude? He goes from ‘blandly handsome’ to ‘total hornbag’.
It’s not surprising, then, that Marvel went all in on a brand spanking new Loki-focused series. What is surprising, however, is just how weird and wild the whole thing gets!
Loki tells the tale of Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the trickster God we first met in Thor (2011), loved to hate in The Avengers (2012) and was last seen in Avengers: End Game (2019). We actually saw Loki die in Avengers: Infinity War (2018), but an alternate timeline from End Game saw him escape with the Tesseract (big glowy blue cube) and head off to parts unknown.
If that previous paragraph caused your eyes to cross, don’t worry. Loki does a pretty great job of explaining what’s going on.
We’ll stay as clear of spoilers as possible, but briefly: before Loki can execute plans for world domination he is arrested by the TVA (Time Variance Authority) who are basically time cops (although sadly sans Jean-Claude Van Damme).
The TVA exists in a massive space that owes a visual nod or two to Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, and wields so much power they can use Infinity Stones as paperweights.
Before he’s deleted from the annals of history, Loki catches the eye of unorthodox TVA agent Mobius M. Mobius (Owen Wilson) who decides to use Thor’s adopted brother to help him with a case.
A case where Loki will have to help hunt for someone with whom he’s, erm, intimately familiar.
Loki is, put simply, a hoot. It’s visually inventive, sharply written and cleverly leans into the notion of the trickster god’s messy timeline, using it as a literal plot device in knowing, meta ways.
Of course, such a lofty narrative requires a rock solid lead performance to anchor it all and Hiddleston proves himself the equal of the task. Smart, manipulative, smarmy and very charming, he plays the role to perfection yet again.
It’s also delightful to see Owen Wilson bringing his amiable charms once more, and he’s a perfect foil for Loki’s semi-evil shenanigans.
More straightforward than WandaVision and more fun than the at times dour The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki shoots for a more crowd-pleasing vibe. The otherworldly visuals, uniformly spectacular, also help sell the idea this is an extension of the Marvel Universe and not a cheaper side project.
The best thing we can say after watching two episodes of Loki is that we immediately want more. It’s twisty, engaging and funny, with some great concepts executed well.
Where will it go during its six episode run? Who knows, but it’s a hell of a good time getting there and you’ll likely find yourself charmed enough to take the ride.
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