The villain was terrible. Every time the movie cut back to her story, I groaned as it was so tedious compared to the adventures elsewhere. Cate Blanchett is a great actor, but she really struggled with the tonal shifts where she had to be evil and yet crack jokes as well. She just couldn’t pull it off. The director should have realised this and made her way more serious and threatening, and let the comedy come from other places.
Instead, the idea seemed to be “comedy at any cost” which, for the most part, worked really well. At every other point, when it was possible to cram in another joke or visual gag, it made the film better. With Hella’s character? It made the movies worse.
Skourge, her sidekick, seemed to have nothing to do for 99% of the movie, and yet he still had more of a character arc than Hela. That both Cate Blanchett and Karl Urban were introduced in this movie, and both died by the end of it, was a complete waste. Hela’s super power, being able to conjure infinite flying daggers, could have been amazing. But in the end it came to nothing.
There are other story problems, but most of them are forgivable because they allow for more laughs. Like Doctor Strange turning up at the start? No point in that entire scene. But it was funny, so who cares.
As for the technical aspects, a lot can be covered up with layers and layers of special effects. At that’s mostly effective.
But Loki’s sideburns! I couldn’t stop looking at them! They were applied so amateurishly it became the main thing I was tracking through the movie. Juliane said after that she had the same problem with Odin’s beard, but at least that facial hair didn’t hang around for the whole movie.
Anyway, overall I think it was a very, very entertaining movie, but was a big step down from other MCU movies in terms of storytelling.