Plot: What’s it about?
I’m not sure how many Marvel movies I’ve reviewed, I’ll go ahead and say most (if not all) of them. And, you know what, things used to be a little easier to follow. We had movies that introduced characters (though comic book fans have known/loved them for years), different phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and so on. Well, after the events of the Avengers movies, things got a bit complicated. That happens when half of the universe is gone in a literal blip. I’m going to go on the assumption that anyone reading this knows that when Loki was “killed” in that film, it wasn’t the last we’d see of him. As we know from Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse and Doctor Strange, there are infinite universes and, therefore, infinite variants of our heroes. How convenient. In 2021, when most of the world was still huddled safely inside their homes, Disney+ gave us our third original series (the first two being WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier) with Loki. What’s not to love? And, more importantly, what’s going on?
With only six episodes, there isn’t a lot of wasted time. We see what happened when Loki (Tom Hiddleston) picked up the Tesseract and we all saw what happened when Loki tangled with Thanos. Not good. However Loki focuses on the more political aspect of things. The TVA (Time Variance Authority) is in charge of, you guessed it, the use of time in the universe. They arrive on the scene to reset certain branches of timelines when they get muddled up. Agent Mobius (Owen Wilson) is on the prowl for a deadly variant that is killing some of the TVA agents. Guess who the lynchpin is? Yep, Loki. These two are now forced to work together and when we learn that the culprit(s) are, in fact, variants of Loki – things get even more complicated. There’s more to it than that, of course, but if you want the 10,000 foot view; there ya go.
The MCU and its subsequent Disney+ series have gotten a lot of crap. It’s not so much that they’re “bad”, but rather the MCU is expanding so quickly that it’s difficult to keep track of who’s around, who isn’t, what timeline is being followed and what’s in store for…whoever is left. That’s a bit of a head-scratcher (for me, at least). Though there are some long-lasting ramifications that take place here, by and large Loki takes place in a bubble. We don’t get any looks or sneak peeks at what’s going on outside the TVA and I was fine with that. Couple that and by Hiddleston’s own admission, it’s been over a decade since he first played the character and it appears as if our God of Mischief isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. I’m guessing that won’t bother folks. I’m fine with it.
Video: How’s it look?
The MCU has given us sights we’ve never seen with the likes of the Avengers movies as well as…every other Marvel movie out there. That said, Loki takes a rather interesting approach with the way it looks visually. It might be odd to watch a television series with a 2.39:1 aspect ratio, but it does fit with the theme of the series and ties it into a more theatrical look and feel. The 4K image showcases just about everything that’s possible with the show and if you’re a fan of the more natural color palette (browns, earthy-tones) then you’ll be right at home here. The TVA looks like it came right out of the 1970’s. That must have been the look they were going for. Granted, there are “real” scenes as well that take detail to the next level, the HDR offers better color rendition and so forth. We know the drill. What I also know is that this looks downright amazing.
Audio: How’s it sound?
If you pony up a few extra bucks for the 4K version, you’ll be treated to a Dolby Atmos mix. You’d be surprised how much of a deal-breaker this is for some folks. While not the most robust soundtrack out there, Loki does have some pretty good uses of the atmospheric mix. Vocals, the main two (Owen Wilson and Hiddleston) sound rich and crisp. It’s a testament to how much Hiddleston owns his character – close your eyes and you’ll think of no one else. Surrounds are used effectively, LFE get involved and everything in between sounds pretty darn good as well. This one delivers.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- Designing the TVA – Pretty much that. We get a look at the “retro” look and feel of the TVA along with the overall look of the series. It’s unique, to be sure.
- The Official TVA Orientation Video – If the creepy animation didn’t freak you out, now you can view the thing in its entirety. I steered clear. Something about that smile…
- Gag Reel – You know there’s got to be some shenanigans on the set with Owen Wilson and Tom Hiddleston.
- Deleted Scenes – Two total, that run nearly five minutes, but I don’t think they were missed.
- Loki’s Coronation
- The Standoff
- Assembled: The Making of Loki – The most robust feature is this hour long look at the show. Interviews with the cast and crew as well as some explanations to the various things that “happen” during the series.
The Bottom Line
What was once fairly easy to follow, the MCU has become a bit more…complex. Loki was one of the early Disney+ shows and one of the first to be available on disc. And it’s worth it. It’s a great-looking and sounding series and the acting isn’t bad either. If you though that, after Avengers: Endgame, that was the last we’d see of our antihero – think again.