Courtesy of Marvel Studios
Tom Hiddleston stars in the Disney + series “Loki”.
The slow wind-up characterizes all three of Marvel’s Disney+ series, but the pacing feels particularly sluggish — and endgame, pardon the expression, elusive — watching the first two episodes of “Loki.” seeing tom hiddleston reprise your role As the humble Thor villain it certainly has its charms, but thus far the god of mischief hasn’t shaped into a fully compelling concept.
Part of the difference between this latest Marvel show and the predecessors “WandaVision” and “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” which offered similar promotions to supporting players, stems from a lack of clearly mapped direction. In the case of the former, it was Wanda working through his misery, while sensibly satire on the long history of the sitcom. In the latter, the story geared toward transferring Captain America’s shield to new and worthy hands.
“Loki,” in contrast, initially exists as a showcase for Hiddleston, in “Avengers: Endgame” by picking up (and teasing out) the string from a loose end.
As the introduction reminds us, Loki fled to parts unknown during the events of “Endgame,” as the Avengers tampered with the past to change the future. The result has left a loci “variant” (a term with yet another distracting use) loosely, which attracts the attention of an organization whose mandate is to police the continuum of time.
The problem with time-travel plots is that they work best with the least attention to details. Thanks to the premise, viewers can think of something else, as the source of the drama (and quite the comedy) corrects the danger that in time becomes for a messy reality.
The primary kick of the program thus boils down to Hiddleston, as well as his conversation with the time soldier Mobius (Owen Wilson), who discovers that Loki is not trustworthy, but sees him as a means to an end. An early template would be “It Takes a Thief”, where the insight of a skilled cat thief was employed to help catch the other thieves.
With the element of time and the friend aspect of that, the opening episode could be called “Tom and Owens’ Excellent Adventure”. There is little to do for the rest of the cast, which includes Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Mobius’ boss.
On the other hand, “Loki” looks fantastic, creating a bizarre world that feels different from the other quadrants of the Marvel universe. However, being awkward – especially in those moments when it seems mostly to be the same – has its drawbacks as well.
For the most part, Marvel has proven exceptionally clever at capitalizing on the Disney+ platform, which delivers richer characterizations than movies allow, while allowing the streaming service the marquee that echoes through the pop-culture space. Provides with titles.
Initially, the series asks a question at the center of its appeal: “What makes Loki tick?” “Loki” clearly may have more tricks up its sleeve, as the format has dictated that these Marvel shows can only be judged at the end, not the beginning.
Still, the clock is ticking as to whether the series can rally enough to deliver on its promise during the remaining chapters, as opposed to simply killing time.
“Loki” premieres Wednesday, June 9 on Disney+.