When “How does it feel? Like someone else “was the starting point for character exploration in”The falcon and the winter soldier”- Steve Rodgers hands the sign to Sam Wilson, but the Hawk Hero isn’t sure he’s worthy of the symbol – then Friggas (René Russo) Line to Loki in “Thor: The dark world“Always so astute for everyone but yourself”, could be the key to understanding wonderis new Disney + Series “Loki“And the ideas for self-actualization it hopes to discuss.
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“Loki” is a supposedly weird and strange science fiction series (which is unfortunately not as bizarre as it would like to be), and is also something of an existential, character-driven narrative about Asgard’s god of mischief, who with his “glorious Purpose “reckons.” This purpose – the legitimate, presumptuous sense of ascension and how it must rule others and the universe – is tested and thrown on a great emotional and existential loop as Loki (Tom Hiddleston) finds out where to go- “Avengers: Endgame“(Essentially purgatory) urges him to grapple with who he actually is and perhaps whether he can change his path. The main problem with the show, however, created and written by Michael Waldron and directed by Kate Herron, It’s theoretically fascinating – a Marvel show about a villain who ponders his existence and wonders how much virtue is actually in him while questioning the cosmos itself – and a little low-key and not extraordinary in actual execution . At least so far in the two episodes by Disney + (arguably an unfair way of judging a series, but we work with what we have). It’s interesting to think about and write about – a show that also deals with control, order, chaos, and the unknowable notions of free will, determinism, and choice – but slightly entertaining at best as a whole.
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“Freedom is an illusion,” Loki posited to those he tried to enslave in the “Avengers” films (paraphrasing), but faced with the same ideas about his own fate, the Asgardian god is reluctant to think that he is not in control Has. Filled with Marvel recalls, perhaps to reorient the viewer in the face of all the timelines, “Loki” begins repeating the events of “Avengers Endgame” as the Avengers travel back in time to find all the infinity stones . Nevertheless, through fate and bad luck, the Tesseract falls back into the hands of Loki and he disappears. Of course, this moment was in 2012 during the first “The Avengers“Movie, and Loki escapes instead of being taken to Asgard to stand trial like he did in Thor: The Dark World (and then finally in‘Infinity war“By Thanos‘ hand) caused an interruption in the orderly flow of time where the show begins. Roger that? If you haven’t followed the Marvel Cinematic Universe closely, you could easily get lost (Marvel fans may want to reconnect that captures the events of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” also).
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So Loki’s timeout puts him in great trouble with the mysterious Time Variance Authority (TVA), a bureaucratic organization that exists outside of time and space and monitors the timeline for glitches and glitches. In the TVA, variants like Loki – doppelgangers that are supposed not to exist if they somehow defy the agreed order – are usually on trial and then exterminated to keep the “sacred timeline” in order.
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And just as TVA judge Ravonna Renslayer: (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is about to doom Variant Loki to oblivion, TVA agent Mobius M. Mobius (a deliciously funny one) Owen Wilson, perfectly cast in this role), who specializes in investigating dangerous time criminals, intervenes and asks for a delay. Because there’s a Variant Time Criminal out there killing TVA Hunters and Minute Men, and Mobius has an unorthodox and renegade idea: use a clever, tricky variant like Loki to find that grueling variant that messes up the sacred timelines . Roger that?
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As you can imagine, much of the first two episodes of the “Loki” series are exposure – explaining how the TVA works, what the agents do, and how the predetermined flow of time works – which can be exhausting. But kudos to the main show with Miss Minutes (voiced by Tara Strong), an orange cartoon clock that is the TVA’s mascot, explaining what all this TVA stuff and the Time Keepers (three big overlord lizards, all of the time and Control space) are over.
The highlight of “Loki”, aside from the condescending expression of Mobius and Wilson’s delightful performance, is the creepy, weird soundtrack from Natalie Holt (“herself”“Dead water fell“). Full of theremins, zithers, Moog synthesizers and other unworldly, ethereal sounds (think “The day the earth stood still” Bernhard Herrmanns Score meets the world of analog pioneers like Clara Rockmore and Wendy Carlos), the music itself is terrific. Though it makes the series feel a lot stranger than it actually is, as most of it is the Loki and Mobius equivalent, the chess-like therapy conversations in rooms about Loki’s real nature, his predictable behavior patterns, and why he does what he does does he does.
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Sometimes “Loki” feels like a Marvel clip show. There are at least three scenes where the characters watch exact scenes from the MCU to remind viewers of the past, spell out what happened and force the protagonist to grapple with the pain he felt was his terrible , has committed arrogant acts (by sitting through). The TVA’s setting is both interesting and intentionally boring. It is supposed to be essentially the DMV of time and space; a hell of a boring time to die for, filled with annoying bureaucracy. But a much more superior, somber, and much funnier version of this idea has already been seen in Terry Gilliam‘s “Brazil”And“ Loki ”cannot correspond to this absurdism, update or expand it. Some of the retro-futurism production design accents are interesting – a mix of ’60s analog sensibility and digital potential – but none of it feels as out there and weird as it could be (much like the show itself).
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Loki’s moment of reckoning is the show’s strongest element – when the Asgardian prince reveals his true story and fate. The discovery of his passing and the death of his parents destroys his existence – and suddenly ends the character’s propensity to question and challenge everything that happens at the TVA (much of the first episode is unclear to Loki how he got there, and most thinks it is a great illusion that he has to flee). Acceptance is more difficult as Loki realizes that he is essentially living in some sort of purgatory and living in borrowed time (assuming all variants are eventually erased from existence). Control is just not something he wants to give up.
Without a conspiracy and a plan, Loki wouldn’t be the god of mischief. Still, Mobius turns out to be a formidable opponent who naturally understands his movements and his game book. Unfortunately, part of this element is also a problem. If you thought the monologues of “The Falcon & The Winter Soldier” in the past few episodes were bad, the simplistic “Loki” explanations of character – you are a good guy, a bad guy, a little bit of both and can you change who you are – are also a little tiring and can make you flinch (the topics are good, the dialogues themselves too rough and open).
Ultimately, “Loki” is about whether we can break the cycles of our fate. Loki is told that its purpose is to cause pain so others can do their best, but Waldron’s show claims that the troublemaker may be more. “Loki” is about the Asgardian god who comes to terms with who he is, what position he is in and whether he can break the vicious circle of gaining someone’s trust, betraying him and returning to his villainous roots afterwards he behaved virtuously for a limited time, a short time. Or does it all just confirm his belief in himself and his gloriously misguided intentions? Can Loki change his tiger’s stripes? As Marvel’s great disruptor, it seems unlikely that they’ll turn Loki into anything more than an antihero and let him live in the hazy, gray mean between good and evil, and that’s perfectly fine. One just hopes that as the series progresses, they’ll turn those hypothetically intriguing ideas about predetermined outcomes into something really compelling. [C]