TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Loki (2021)

A review on American Television miniseries, Loki (2021). The mini-series is created by Michael Waldron and directed by Kate Herron. The show stars Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Owen Wilson and Sophia Di Martino. The show is a continuation of the saga from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is a Disney Plus Original series.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Kate Herron
  • Cinematography by Autumn Durald Arkapaw
  • Music by Natalie Holt
  • Edited by Paul Zucker, Calum Ross and Emma McCleave
  • Created by Michael Waldron
  • Production by Marvel Studios
  • Distributed by Disney Platform Distribution 

+ Note

The concept of Loki TV series was first introduced as a core part of the Phase Four MCU content. Since the success of Loki as a character in The Avengers (2012) and other MCU films, it was clear that Tom Hiddleston might reprise his iconic role and will be explored much more as a stand alone character. The series explores the concept of branching timelines which were first introduced in Avengers: Endgame (2019) where upon “disruption of the pre-planned events”, the past does not change but rather a whole new timeline is introduced. After the disruption of the main timeline by Loki in Avengers: Endgame (2019), the series plays as a redemption arc for the character as he follows through different versions of his own self due to the possibility of different timeline “variants’ “.

After WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki is the third in the Marvel/ Disney Plus series which brought worldwide praise from critics, especially for Tom Hiddleston’s effortless performance as the famous Norse Mythology trickster. 

+ Main Cast

  1. Tom Hiddleston as Loki
  2. Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Ravonna Renslayer
  3. Wunmi Mosaku as Hunter B-15
  4. Eugene Cordero as Casey
  5. Tara Strong voices Miss Minutes
  6. Owen Wilson as Mobius M. Mobius

+ Plot

After Loki’s (Tom Hiddleston) devious escape with the Tesseract in Avengers: Endgame (2019), he ends up getting arrested by an organization called  Time Variance Authority (TVA). Their sole mission to avoid disruption of the timeline and capture ‘Variants’ who were responsible for the timeline split from the main continuity. At the TVA, Loki meets agent Mobius (Owen Wilson) who believes that Loki could be used for a mission that has been plaguing the TVA for a long duration of time now; to capture a renegade Variant who is hiding in the different timelines of the Marvel Universe.

As the story progresses, Loki and Mobius soon realize that something does not seem right about the TVA and combine strengths in order to search for the truth.

+ High Points

i – After watching the last episode, I can sincerely concur that Loki is the best Marvel/ Disney Plus show to date. Tom Hiddleston is once again fantastic as the charming yet devious Loki and the rest of the cast contributes wonderfully to the convoluted story of Timelines in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While such thematic elements can get tricky at times, Marvel has done a brilliant job in maintaining a balanced view and moved the story along each of the six episodes. 

ii – Speaking of great performances, Tom Hiddleston and Owen Wilson work seamlessly as a buddy cop movie duo where the banter is fun and never gets overbearing like in some of the lesser MCU films. At this point, I feel Tom Hiddleston can play Loki with his eyes shut whereas Owen Wilson is a welcome addition to the MCU family with his dry dialogue delivery and wry humor. 

iii – Another vital character that is introduced in Loki is Sophia Di Martino as Sylvie. I cannot talk much about her character as it would prove to be a major spoiler for the show but suffice to say, she is very charismatic whenever she is alongside Loki onscreen. 

iv – I think what should be most widely applauded about Loki is the writing. Michael Waldron and team have done a really special job in bringing a whole new concept of TVA into the MCU without disrupting anything around the already established storylines from the previous Three phases of the MCU. The episodes move at a brisk pace, provide vital details along the way and most importantly, have a keen eye on character progression for each individual throughout the series. With such a convoluted plot involving timelines, the writing team has done a stupendous job throughout the 6 episodes. Well done!

v – Some of the cinematography by Autumn Durald Arkapaw is truly inventive and much more creative than the previous two Marvel/ Disney Plus series. The frame travels alongside our main cast, explores the TVA’s corridors in the earlier episodes but pulls back in the later episodes, revealing odd and ominous landscapes (a galore of Marvel easter eggs!).

vi – The Music by Natalie Holt is haunting and memorable. The preference of introument’s lower bass range proves ideal for the series as it meticulously mixes vintage Sci-Fi elements with slow melancholy. 

vii – The Costume Designs, Special Effects and Set Design are all praiseworthy. What could truly be admired about Disney Plus is that they have undeniable trust in their Marvel content and are willing to financially back it up all the way. When they don’t, you can see the mediocre CGI in films like Black Panther (2018).

viii – Where both the previous Marvel/ Disney Plus shows (WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier) staggered for me were the final episode. It was a barrage of unnecessary epic battles with virtually no real organic progression towards it. Thankfully Loki avoids all that and concludes the story according to the previous events leading up to it. A new character is revealed in the last episode which systematically changes much of the Phase Four and could prove to be a worthy foe for the next generation of the Avengers. I cannot reveal much but the actor who plays the role is just simply outstanding in this. Whenever he was on screen, he clearly hijacked it and the mesmerizing performance was just an icing on the Loki cake.

+ Low Points

i – With all that is great and praiseworthy about Loki, there are problems that could’ve been ironed out during the writing process, mainly the over reliance of exposition. During the first two episodes, there were just way too many scenes with 10 minute long explanations about what the TVA is, how it works and what it accomplishes. To soften the blow, the 1920s style animated character ‘Miss Minutes’ was introduced and while that does work to a certain extent, the exposition still continues on in the next few episodes which slightly bogs down the pacing of the show. A tighter, more fluid progression of scenes were needed and while it is never detrimental, it would have surely been improved upon.

SPOILER ALERT!: (From here on out, there will be spoilers for the show. If you still haven’t seen the show and would like to see it, you can skip directly to Overall section):

ii – The romance between the two Loki variants was not organically earned by the show. Although it’s an interesting concept, the romance did feel a bit rushed and perhaps, some might feel it to be unnecessary to the overarching story. 

iii –  The show looks really dark… and I don’t mean the tone. It is literally low on brightness at times. Whether it was to compensate on the greenscreen/ CGI backgrounds is anyone’s guess but a bit of vibrance would have made the moving images more appealing to look at.

+ Overall

Loki is a blast from start to finish! It respects and understands its cast of characters brilliantly while does not shy away from pushing the complex boundaries of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Rate : 4.25 out of 5 stars

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