‘Loki’ review: Time-travel shenanigans with Hiddleston and his hijinks


The first two episodes of spin-off series ‘Loki’ establish a fantastic banter between Owen Wilson’s Mobius and Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, but more thrills are awaited

(Mild spoilers below)

It was love at first sight when I read the story of Loki and Balder in a beautifully-illustrated book of Norse mythology. While Balder was beautiful and good, it was wicked Loki who captured my heart. In the MCU, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki was a personification of the Norse God of Mischief’s charisma and contrariness.

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Loki, a spin-off series, seems to be what the Gods (of mischief and popcorn entertainment) ordered. Created by Michael Waldron and directed by Kate Herron, the series picks up from the events of Avengers: Endgame (2019), where Loki vanishes with Tessaract only to reappear in the Gobi Desert. Even as the natives are mildly interested, some strangely-suited characters appear through a wormhole, neutralise Loki’s divine powers, and transport him into the bureaucratic maze that is the Time Variance Authority (TVA).

Loki is processed in quite a funny scene where he has to sign off on every word he uttered, take a token in a queue of two (reminding one of poor Ben Stiller at the airport in Meet the Parents) and watch an animated recap of what the TVA does. Minute Men, TVA agents go about capturing all the variants who mess about with the Sacred Time Line, which has been set down by three Timekeepers. Loki’s wanderings through time create changes in the timeline that has deadly repercussions on an intergalactic level.

Loki

  • Creator: Michael Waldron
  • Director: Kate Herron
  • Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Wunmi Mosaku, Eugene Cordero, Tara Strong, Owen Wilson
  • Duration: 50 minutes
  • Storyline: Loki is recruited by the Time Variance Authority to capture himself in a different timeline

A thoroughly annoyed Loki (”I will burn this place to the ground,” he thunders and nothing happens) is brought before a judge Ravonna Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and just as she is going to sentence him to a fate worse than death — being reset — Mobius M. Mobius (Owen Wilson) recruits him. Mobius (one Mobius was not enough obviously) is a mid-level bureaucrat who we first see investigating a sighting of a devil; is that Hellboy?

Created by Michael Waldron and directed by Kate Herron, the series picks up from the events of ‘Avengers: Endgame’

Created by Michael Waldron and directed by Kate Herron, the series picks up from the events of ‘Avengers: Endgame’
 

Loki’s mission, should he choose to accept it (he actually has no choice), is to hunt down a dangerous variant running riot on the timeline killing Minute Men: himself!

I love time travel as much as the next person, and a police procedural with shades of noir is guaranteed wowza. But the first two episodes of Loki, which were available for review, unfortunately are not as hair-raisingly thrilling. However, the banter between Mobius and Loki is cheerful and snappy, and one of the best things about the show. Wilson is a welcome addition to the MCU, while Hiddleston is naughty and nice as Loki. Wunmi Mosaku as tough Hunter B-15, Eugene Cordero as Casey of the TVA, and Tara Strong as the voice of TVA mascot, Miss Minutes provide ample support.

The stop at Pompeii in 79 AD just before Vesuvius blew its top is fun as is Loki seeing gazillion Infinity Stones in junk drawers and having an official say some of them are used as paper weights. While the first episode Glorious Purpose was rather talky, things pick up in episode 2. Hopefully the show will deliver all the promised thrills with all the different versions of the God of Mischief, from the gender-fluid one to Old Man Loki, in the coming four episodes.

Loki is currently streaming on Disney+ Hotstar Premium

 



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