11 June 2021 436 Views

That new Loki show gave me a gigantic pain in my arse

by James Murphy

Here’s why..(some semi spoilers ahoy..frankly I don’t give a curse but..)..

  • It’s LONG. FIFTY MINUTES! For ONE episode. Come on, ffs. That’s almost the whole of a well edited movie. Bottom / brain numbed.
  • That (being) said? I switched off after 30 minutes (yes i went back and watched the rest in name of objectivity but..).
  • Because they joke about putting a bomb. On a plane. 
  • Dear Loki makers: it’s the 20th anniversary of 9/11. This is not cool. 
  • Also, for some reason? Hiddleston has been directed in said plane scene to do a poor man’s James Bond audition? STOP IT. Tom: you are very funny, nice, clever and have a toight (yes, TOIGHT) body. But 007? No.

And that’s just the start of it..because there is a deeper, more ideological issue here. Seriously. 

For twenty odd years now, I have been kinda sceptical regarding the rise of Evangelical Christianity. It struck me as scary. How did the lobby suddenly own everything: integrated to each sector of business and somehow infiltrating education at all levels?

 

Connection? One of contrast as much as superficial overlap.

DISNEY owns MARVEL, right? Disney Plus is a family friendly channel, with LOKI presumably, targeted at quasi family audience, yes? They warn you if someone SMOKES or SWEARS or FARTS in a movie. VERY like the Christians, right? Same protective vigilant demographic policing..maybe..

Except Disney/Marvel /Loki have a murderer as hero here. He’s not an ‘anti-hero’. Loki is a baddie: petulant, nasty, homicidal, delusional. Funny and even charmingly so on occasion (see, Hiddleston: nowt personal, I am objective..everyone loves you, I get it..). But evil, nonetheless. Antagonist not protagonist.

A stretch for what is a fantasy, aimed at a younger and hence, impressionable, easily confused moral demographic, imho. This is not some Coen brothers morality play pulp fiction piece. It’s a sodding comic book spin off. Reality check! 

Matters not helped by some truly dark violence on show amidst the tonal confusion. People get burned to death. And there is a truly creepy close up of a Satanic stained glass window.

Christians, by contrast? Well they at least manage their brand better, right?

A Church might have a Gargoyle, ok; but I doubt you would get Beelzebub / Old Nick et al painted for all to see??. BIT odd. Would you repeat that trick with a ‘Jinn’ from Islam in a Mosque in your Disney show? No. Because..well..I need not spell out the dangers, here. I digress..

..In a way? Christians (esp of an extremely literal /evangelical variety) might just be right. Perhaps the end of days IS here. And LOKI is proof. A show so infatuated with its own pretension that it literally goes to hell and takes viewers along for the ride.

The end of art and morality, together. And worst of all? It’s just not enough FUN! Even the Devil would be bored. 

Are there merits on show? Sure. Hiddleston IS funny. That is an empirical, objective fact. The kid has comic timing. Owen Wilson is an excellent co-star, having matured into his own frame and talent. The production design echoes Stanley Kubrick, Tim Burton, Terry Gilliam and Steven Spielberg at their most classic best.

There is some truly ambitious philosophy here being offered up, whilst avoiding didactic moralising or identity politics preaching. No woke-Loki! Great!

And one can see fascinating sci-fi at work in the show: it feels like Doctor Who at its best (before that show became a bit..shit from 2014 onwards). Even JJ Abrams would envy the mystery box world building on display in Loki’s new environs. Fine. Great.

But this is just the wrong platform for those aims when the reach and grasp cannot match up. It at once tries to go beyond and somehow, simultaneously trade on the imagery of AVENGERS films from 2012-19. You cannot do both. Especially when you freeze frame a flashback to ROBERT DOWNEY JUNIOR as TONY STARK.

LOKI is Yet ANOTHER Marvel product that just does not ‘get’ how integral Downey was to the brand’s success. Either forget him and try moving on?

Or accept the inevitable: your movies and shows, without the spectre of Stark appearances are like a broken pencil (pointless, without Iron Man shaped, sharpened lead involved?). 

 

But hey, I’m glad you all enjoyed the show and its viewing figures are at odds with my reservations. Have a lovely weekend, one and all 😉 x

 

PS: If the Time Agency / woteva it is called is so all powerful?? why do they need Loki to fix an anomaly? Logic not their strong suit, obviously.



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