When it smashed reality back in the summer of 2021, the first season of Loki was an instant hit with fans and is still regarded as the best Marvel series on Disney+ to date. Obviously, that puts a lot of pressure on Season 2, which arrives later this week.
Judging by the first batch of reviews, Loki Season 2 may not hit the highs of the first season, but the new crop of episodes appear to be a (mostly) good time that once again relies on its ace in the hole: Tom Hiddleston. However, the reviews this time around are a little more divided as critics aren’t entirely enthralled Season 2’s story, and then there’s the Jonathan Majors of it all.
Currently facing trial on assault charges, Majors’ presence is a sticky issue that pops up in more than one review. The actor is featured more prominently in the show than trailers and promotional material have revealed, which led to some awkward viewing for some critics. (Loki Season 2 wrapped production prior to Majors’ arrest, leaving reshoots off the table.) However, Hiddleston’s charm and seeing him paired with Owen Wilson once again goes a long way in smoothing over Loki Season 2’s bumps.
You can see what the reviews are saying below:
Mike Ryan, Uproxx:
The thing is, Loki is a pretty fun show. Everything is getting quite absurd in the superhero movie world with multiple universes and variants and all that. I think I’d be happier just going back to, “guy in a metal suit fights bad guys.” But at least Loki knows how absurd all this is and ramps everything up to such a high degree, with every ridiculous thing being met by Wilson’s deadpan, “Whelp, another day at the office,” it can’t help itself from being a good time.
Therese Lacson, Collider:
Much of the strength of Loki hinges on the performance of the cast. Tom Hiddleston easily slides back into his persona as Loki — perhaps a bit more harried this season and a bit wiser, but still the trickster god. For those who worried before Season 1 that an Avengers-era Loki might lose his complexity, it was clear that the show was able to give him back that depth, and Season 2 develops it even more. It’s hard to imagine that this Loki is the same one who once dramatically said he was burdened with glorious purpose. In lesser hands, the character might feel like too sharp of a shift, but Hiddleston has always imparted a fragility to his character that has made him easy to love even when he’s doing particularly terrible things. A heroic Loki doesn’t feel that far removed from the villainous one — perhaps just a bit less deranged and a bit more humble.
John Nugent, Empire:
In fact, everyone seems to be enjoying themselves — most of all Hiddleston. Having donned the green horns for well over a decade by this point, his Loki remains endlessly charismatic. Hiddleston still imbues him with that delicious sense of playful moral ambiguity, but there’s a clarity to the character at this point that feels fresh: that somehow, by trying to save the universe, he finally found the glorious purpose he was looking for.
Yasmine Kandil, DiscussingFilm:
Even though the show does center around its titular trickster, this latest season thrives because it avoids neglecting its electric ensemble cast. With a wide mix of new and returning characters, it wouldn’t be a surprise if a couple of names got pushed to the side or worse, totally forgotten about. However, every player in Loki Season 2 is given rich material to play around with. Most of all, everyone is granted their moment to play an important role in this glorious jigsaw of a narrative.
Bob Strauss, The Wrap:
Characters with compelling issues, high existential drama, quirky comedy and world-threatening action are blended better than in any other Disney+ show to date. “Loki” Season 2 may be the most spectacularly cinematic of the streamer’s Marvel series too, awash with cool FX and reality-shaking mobile camerawork that blasts through awesome sci-fi tableaux. We also explore goofy/brutalist new corners of the TVA bureaucracy’s planet-sized HQ, and each episode so far incorporates beautifully detailed period locations, whether a 1980s McDonald’s seen through adoring alien eyes or a funhouse mirror re-creation of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.
From here on out, the Loki Season 2 reviews get a little more pointed. Just a warning in case you don’t want to ruin the vibes going into the new episodes:
Jarrod Jones, IGN:
Those expecting a new multiversally manic season of Loki should temper their expectations; the absence of director Kate Herron has seemingly removed the series’ wily sense of anything-goes possibility, effectively turning Season 2 – and, shockingly, Loki himself – into an obedient, uninteresting cog in the MCU’s increasingly unwieldy mega-structure.
Louis Chilton, The Independent:
To Loki’s credit, there are some commendable elements here. The production design is impressive, with the retro-futuristic bureaucracy of the TVA an original, if just slightly drab, visual idea. The story is also genuinely unpredictable from one episode to the next, albeit fruitlessly so: unmoored from time and space, it’s hard to care about anything that’s happening. The stakes are often so incomprehensibly high – whole universes, realities, on the precipice of oblivion – that they’re functionally meaningless.
Ben Travers, IndieWire:
Then there’s Jonathan Majors. Designated a “special guest star” in the episodes in which he appears, the actor currently on trial for multiple assault charges reemerges as He Who Remains, the mysterious figure who Sylvie killed in the Season 1 finale. To say he’s a distraction would be an understatement, considering the role’s prominence in “Loki” and its impact on the MCU’s future. Majors’ talents are undeniable, and he’s mercifully disarmed here — more comic relief than terrorizing villain — but it’s hard to kick back and enjoy his frenzied energy or stilted intonations when you know the monstrous accusations levied against the man in real life.
Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter:
The handiness of the phrase [“wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff’] came to mind more than a few times while I watched the second season of Disney+‘s Loki, on which the creative team has absolutely succeeded in using Marvel‘s money to make a wildly expensive season of Doctor Who featuring Tom Hiddleston as the Doctor. It’s such a perfectly worthy goal — one frequently hinted at in the six-episode first season — that it’s almost churlish to complain that, after however many hundred installments, Doctor Who has mostly dispensed with the need to wallow in the sort of nonstop exposition that too frequently bogs Loki down.
Loki Season 2 premieres October 5 at 9 ET/6 PT on Disney+.