I still remember the first words I ever spoke in specific reference to Tom Hiddleston. Before I even knew his name, before I was really paying attention, it was during a re-watch of The Avengers. My friend (same one I saw it in theaters with) and I rented it, popped a bottle of wine, and about halfway through both, I remember pointing at Loki and slurring, “I … I find him strangely attractive.”
This was, of course, before I had ever looked him up (IMDb magic), learned his life story, heard his delicious accent, and saw that he does not, in fact, naturally have that dark hair and pale greasy look, but instead, has the nerve to walk around the planet like this:
Bruce Banner said it best: “He really grows on ya, doesn’t he?” Indeed. I started fangirlin’ a little bit after finally watching Thor and now, after seeing the sequel on opening weekend, he’s officially my new celeb crush—but apparently I’m late to the party because #Hiddles seems to be everyone’s boyfriend fantasy. Tumblr is completely twitterpated, he’s being interviewed everywhere (well, maybe not everywhere—Ellen, stop slackin’), plus I myself can’t even make it through the day without hopelessly trolling Loki GIFs (thanks, BuzzFeed). He loves Shakespeare and tea, he’s so adorably uncomfortable when his looks are complimented, he hung out with Cookie Monster, he’s in commercials with kids, his bloopers are downright charming, he likes slumber parties, he does impressions, and have you seen him DANCE?
Where was I … OK, OK, all that being said, can we just talk about The Dark World for a minute or two or twenty?
Part of why we worship Loki, I imagine, is his vulnerability. We love broken men because we fantasize about scooping them up and kissing their pain away, amiright ladies? Out of all of Marvel’s villains, Loki is the only character who was given a fully fleshed-out backstory, IMO. Discovering his true roots (in Thor) tears his sense of self-worth to shreds and he reacts violently in retaliation (in The Avengers). Sure, we get that. Naturally, that meant Tom’s performance in Thor 2 would be inevitably all the more powerful. Brought back to Asgard as a prisoner, he’s sealed up in another glass box as a dirty little family not-so-secret until, how convenient, Thor needs his help. “So I am no more than another stolen relic, locked up here until you might have use of me?” Yep. Pretty much.
The first scene that hurt my heart was when he briefly softened to his mother. Seeing him reach out to take her hand and she just slips through his fingers, leaving him alone with his self-loathing … ouch. Still not well-versed in the Marvel world (I’m new here, OK?), I don’t know whose power does what, so was she really there? Glad to see I’m not the only one left wondering; I loved this excerpt from Wired.com:
“Tom Hiddleston is justifiably the break-out star of the last several years of Marvel movies, and his performance as the embittered trickster god in The Dark World is his best yet. We saw Loki begin to fray in Thor and unravel across Avengers; now, returned to Asgard and incarcerated for what is meant to be eternity, he clings to arrogant indifference over a profound pathos that surfaces only during a visit from an illusory projection of Frigga — though whether she’s a projection of Loki’s actual adopted mother or a figment of his own conjuring is never clear. When Thor comes to him for help after Frigga’s death, Loki struts and postures until Thor calls his deception out and the bright illusion drops away, revealing the real Loki slumped in a corner, bedraggled with sorrow and rage, surrounded by a shambles of smashed furniture. It’s a powerful and shocking moment, testament to the tenacity with which Loki clings to his last shreds of control.”
Yes. Well said. For me, the movie really started as soon as Loki, burdened with glorious sass, is busted out to join the task force to stop the world from ending (again). The spring in his step is contagious. With his token devilish grin securely in place, the humor that lasts the next few scenes is pure perfection. Thor and Loki are just typical brothers again, ribbing each other in delightful fashion and arguing over who gets to drive. Mischief vs. thunder!
Then the climax of the film. We already knew Loki would not be returning for Avengers 2, which, of course, begged the question: Why the hell not? His death, while predictable, was no less heart-breaking. When he turned on Thor, I knew it was an act. He would be redeemed in our eyes (and Thor’s) before his end by some heroic act, and sure enough, he saves his brother and gets skewered through his torso for the trouble. Cue the tearful brotherly goodbye … and the girls in the audience start sniffling …
After that scene, I personally didn’t care either way if London imploded. So Thor saves the world while Natalie Portman watches a la Santana Lopez and the movie’s basically over. Thor goes to King Odin and says he doesn’t want the throne; he’ll protect Asgard when needed, but he belongs on Earth with his lady love. Odin lets him go graciously, but then—PLOT TWIST!
What the actual hell is going on?!
Whatever. I just hope this means that someday we get a movie all about Loki. Called “Loki.” Have every scene be Loki. And on that frighteningly teenage-fangirl obsessed note, it’s time for me to go have a Marvel marathon. Back-to-back Thor and The Avengers, then I think I’ll go see The Dark World again tomorrow. Because I can. Because Loki. Because Tom nom nom.
Thor: The Dark World is in theaters now. What are you waiting for?
P.S. If there are any Marvel experts willing to explain that ending to me, be my guest. Is Loki really alive?