RELEASED: June 9th 2021 – July 14th 2021
DISTRIBUTED BY: Disney+
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Michael Waldron, Kate Herron, Tom Hiddleston, Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso & Stephen Broussard
WRITTEN BY: Michael Waldron, Elissa Karasik, Bisha K. Ali, Eric Martin & Tom Kauffman
DIRECTED BY: Kate Herron
MUSIC BY: Natalie Holt
STARRING: Tom Hiddleston, Sophia Di Martino, Owen Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Wunmi Mosaku, Tara Strong, DeObia Oparei, Jack Veal & Richard E. Grant
REVIEW: When these shows were announced, as a big Captain America fan, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was the show I was anticipating the most. Similarly, I was excited for WandaVision as our first reintroduction to the MCU and the potential weirdness it teased. Loki meanwhile, was something I had a passing interest in, but wasn’t something I could say I was all that excited for.
And yet, it’s ended up being Marvel Studios’ best show.
By an amazingly huge margin.
Loki follows the titular God of Mischief after he escapes the events of Avengers (as seen in Endgame) to continue is quest for glorious purpose. However, he is quickly apprehended by an organisation called the TVA – an agency that polices the timeline – and drafted by an analyst named Mobius to help him catch another rogue Loki who has also strayed from their own timeline. But as the pair hunt this devious ‘variant’, Loki strives to discover the truth behind the TVA and uncover who rules over time itself.
For science-fiction fans, this show is simply amazing. Near every facet of it is bringing it’s all.
Boasting a tremendous cast, this show features excellent performances from our stars Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson and Sophia Di Martino. Their supporting cast of Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Wunmi Mosaku and Tara Strong help further enrich the world of the TVA, instantly creating strong, memorable characters who really help elevate the show. Special guest stars like Richard E. Grant are also a true delight, stealing scenes and seemingly having the time of their life.
The visuals are also outstanding, like watching a big budget Doctor Who, with new worlds majestically brought to life with fantastic special effects and beautiful designs. The timeline set pieces are so epic and wondrous, while the aesthetic of the TVA offices is beautifully anachronistic. On top of that, a wealth of fun little nods and Easter eggs are crammed into the various shots, making it a true treasure trove for hardcore Marvel fans.
And the music, oh the music. While I do enjoy various pieces from across the MCU, very few have stuck with me the way Loki‘s soundtrack has. Such a gorgeous amount of variety to the soundtrack, each song written and performed excellently by Natalie Holt and her team. Rousing, epic, suspenseful; like the rest of the show, it’s so much better than the majority of what we’ve seen before.
The writing is also a lot stronger than the preceding shows. As much as I enjoyed TFATWS and WV, neither manages to tackle every facet of their story and production so effectively.
It’s fascinating, fun, intriguing and exciting. There’s true wit and emotion in the dialogue, and it manages to cover so much ground with ease (like re-doing Loki’s whole redemptive arc, then taking it several steps further), introducing new concepts and characters who you desperately want to see more of.
Of course, nothing is perfect, so there are some minor exceptions. For instance, I found episode five (which, by all accounts seems quite popular) to have some rather clichéd dialogue at times, and one particular performance didn’t seem to hold as much weight for me as the rest. Similarly, while strong on character development, episode three didn’t always seem to have that sense of wonder that the rest of the show possesses about it.
But when it all comes together, the high points are so high that you forget the lows.
Never is this more true than in the resolution. A common complaint of the prior shows is that they squandered their finales, and while I did love the introduction of a black Captain America, my biases aren’t strong enough to keep me from noticing the flaws.
But here, things come full circle. The show truly delivers with its promises, giving a finale that seems to match (and at points exceed) the quality of the episodes that have lead to it, and for the first time seems like it will actually matter.
Sure, ‘big things’ happened in the other shows, but neither’s story was anywhere near as monumental as what goes in on this series. It not only provides the deep character studies of the previous shows, but also enriches the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe and has true, massive consequences.
(CLICK HERE for some more spoiler-y thoughts on said consequences).
For instance, the villain. Pretty early on (for a six episode show, anyway) Loki delivers a Wizard of Oz-esque twist. The Time-Keepers, touted as the ‘big bad’ are just a ruse. From there, speculation online ran rampant as to who could be ‘behind the curtain’. Now, I obviously can’t comment on how effective the reveal is for casual fans, but as a big time comic nerd, the clues seemed to point to one person – someone who seemed too good to be true.
And true it was, as Jonathan Majors made his MCU debut as a variant of Avengers-villain Kang the Conqueror (/Immortus). Not only was this a great reveal in my eyes, due to the fact it seemingly subverts expectations (the one behind it all is just some guy?) and plays further into that aforementioned Wizard of Oz allusion, but it also ties Loki in closer to the rest of the MCU as Majors will return in future projects such as Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and (hopefully) a future Avengers movie.
Furthermore, like Grant before him, Majors instantly cemented himself as a standout of the show, bringing an intense, manic energy to his performance that evokes Willy Wonka or a Doctor (Who) gone rogue. His (and thus, the show’s) reasoning for creating the TVA feels like a rewarding answer with the promise of opening up the MCU in a way it hasn’t done since Thanos first flashed a smile at the end of the first Avengers movie. With season two teased as well, Loki may well end up topping a lot of people’s MCU rankings going forward.
Just brilliant stuff. Or should I say…
All-in-all, I give it:
Thanks for reading! Is Loki the best Marvel Studios so far? Is Loki the best Marvel Studios property so far? Let me know in the comments below!
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