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'Loki' on Disney+ review: Charismatic Tom Hiddleston dives deep into Marvel's witty, mischievous fan-favourite character

·6-min read

It's time for Marvel's most beloved villain Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston, to have his own six-part, six-hour show on Disney+ with Loki, also starring Owen Wilson as Mobius, premiering on June 9.

The director of the series Kate Herron (Sex Education) is a self-proclaim fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with a personal understanding of why Loki is such a beloved character.

"I love the character and I've always loved characters who feel like outsiders," Herron told Yahoo Canada. "I love villains and I think that when they're done right you don't have to agree with their actions but you have to understand them, and I think that Tom did such an amazing job at that."

"There's so much wit and charisma and he's a character that you just can't help but root for, and obviously it's been amazing to see him go from a villain to antihero across the recent MCU [Marvel Cinematic Universe] films. I've really enjoyed his arc across all the movies and I just wanted to be part of whatever the next chapter was in Loki’s story."

Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in Marvel Studios' Loki exclusively on Disney+ on June 8. (Marvel Studios)
Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in Marvel Studios' Loki exclusively on Disney+ on June 8. (Marvel Studios)

When does ‘Loki’ take place?

The beginning of the Loki series begins in 2012 Avengers: Endgame when Loki takes the Tesseract. From that iconic moment we see him being apprehended for crimes against the sacred timeline by Hunter-B15 (Wunmi Mosaku, Lovecraft Country) and brought to the Time Variance Authority (TVA), largely the setting for at least the first two episodes of the series. The detailed setting of this sort of corporate but innovative space is a unique and intriguing setting to set the scene for this story. 

In a fun animated video that Loki watches at the TVA, it’s explained that there was a vast multiverse and different unique timelines once battled for supremacy. The all-knowing Time Keepers emerged and reorganized the multiverse into a sacred timeline, a single timeline. Some individuals, called variants, veer off the sacred timeline creating a nexus event, with fears that these events can branch off into a multiverse war. The TVA, by their description, has stepped in to fix Loki’s “mistake” and he must now stand trial for his offences in front of Judge Ravonna Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw, The Girl Before).

Loki isn’t entirely convinced of the TVA’s powers at the outset, specifically when Mobius (Wilson), whose job is to pursue dangerous variants, explains to Loki that he is not choosing his path, it is predetermined in the sacred timeline.

That’s when it’s revealed that a fugitive variant has been killing Minute Men from the TVA, but the variant Mobius has been chasing is actually closer to Loki than initially expected. Mobius convinces Renslayer to allow him to bring Loki into the field to find this variant.

Director Kate Herron, Tom Hiddleston and Own Wilson on set of Marvel Studios'
Director Kate Herron, Tom Hiddleston and Own Wilson on set of Marvel Studios' "Loki," exclusively on Disney+ premiering on June 9. (Photo by Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios)

The perfect pairings

An incredibly entertaining aspect of Loki is this fantastic banter that happens between Hiddleston and Wilson, both showing their great comedic timing and wit, something that really makes this series stand out from Marvel's previous series WandaVision and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.

"Owen’s just riffing stuff with Tom and we're like, this is great," Herron said.

"So much of their chemistry for me comes out of the fact that they're so different because Tom is a classically trained actor, he's done a lot of Shakespeare, whereas Owen is this indie darling… I think it's really fun putting both these actors at the top of their game, but with very different [acting approaches], into a scene together because I think it really complements, and they kind of balance each other in a way that's really exciting to watch."

Judge Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) in Marvel Studios'
Judge Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) in Marvel Studios' "Loki," exclusively on Disney+, premiering on June 9 (Photo by Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios)

But Hiddleston and Wilson aren't the only two who have a unique relationship in Loki, Mobius and Renslayer are a pair to watch as well. While she is the person Mobius reports to, Renslayer seems to have a soft spot for Mobius, almost like he’s her slightly disobedient student but she can’t help indulge his ideas, against her seemingly more logical judgement.

"Owen is so gifted with comedy and I think the dynamic of those two characters, my character sort of being the one in charge but also the fact that they have a longstanding friendship, and he is very charming and knows how to sort of get his way around her, was a fun push and pull to work within," Mbatha-Raw told Yahoo Canada.

While the dialogue in Loki is exceptional, providing an amazing tone for the story, we’re definitely not abandoning the action sequences Marvel fans have come to expect.

“Later in the season you will get to see a bit more action from Renslayer, which is exciting,” Mbatha-Raw teased. “Coming from a dance background and loving the physical choreography of working with the amazing stunt team that we've had on the show, [it] was really a joy to be able to get into those sort of bigger, longer action sequences.”

While Loki is mischievous, Hunter-B15 (Mosaku) is a high-ranking Hunter that is very much by the book, the perfect contrast to the title character. She is strong and is very much a staunch supporter of the TVA, and its policies.

“It was quite fun to actually explore my physical strength with a character, I’ve never done that before,” Mosaku told Yahoo Canada. “We trained every day at the stunt gym and did [fight sequences] for the TVA, they're like 'this is how we move a the TVA, this is how we run in the TVA.'”

“We got that physical vocabulary into us all… It's a nice way to get into a character, by doing it physically first.”

Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) in Marvel Studios'
Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) in Marvel Studios' "Loki," exclusively on Disney+, premiering on June 9. (Marvel Studios)

While the physicality of Hunter-B15 is a large aspect of the character, Mosaku’s challenges were in a different aspect of bringing this character to life, shedding her British accent.

“I get nervous doing accents,” she said. “It never leaves me, it doesn't matter how comfortable I feel in the accent, when the cameras are rolling I get very, very nervous.”

“Monitoring my nerves, that I think is probably the hardest thing for me.”

The first two episodes of Loki are certainly enough to have confidence that this compelling character is getting a great platform to strengthening his identity, with a path that's a unique combination of dark and hysterical.

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