Kevin Levine’s review published on Letterboxd:
Thank Odin! We finally get a "Hela" good Thor film. See what I did there? ;)
I really enjoyed this film from start to finish, and I'm happy to say there's finally a Thor film that I really, really like, but I can't quite put it up there in the upper echelon of my favorite MCU films. It's close, but not quite there. The MCU continues to underuse their potentially incredible villains. Hela is a slightly better than average villain, but her motives and story are nothing new. Her arc as a villain is one we've seen before in the MCU. Cate Blanchett does an amazing job as Hela, and looks incredible, but the screenplay wasted some of her potential to be a top-tier MCU villain.
The comedy in this film is brilliant and I love the moments in the film when the dialogue was clearly improvised. I love that Taika gives his cast opportunities to write their own lines on the fly. The film's screenwriters did a good job, but I wish Taika had been involved in order to improve both the comedy and drama even more. We've seen how incredibly well he can balance comedy and drama in THE HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE. Taika's directing style, however, was 100% spot on for this film and he did a great job saving the near-abysmal Thor film series.
The cast has amazing chemistry together - specifically the leading group of Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Tessa Thompson, and Mark Ruffalo - but the supporting cast came to play as well. Blanchett, Karl Urban, Jeff Goldblum, Idris Elba, Anthony Hopkins, and Taika Waititi (Korg) all turned in really solid performances. Let me go back to Tessa Thompson real quick...she is now bae and she came to slay! Valkyrie may be my favorite character from this film and Thompson turned in an amazing performance. I really hope we get to see her in INFINITY WAR.
Shoutout to Sam Neill, Matt Damon, and Luke Hemsworth for their great performances and, of course, Stan Lee had another great cameo!
Ultimately, this is another really good addition to the MCU that's keeping it headed in the right direction, but it's not quite in that top tier of MCU films for me due to a villain whose maximum potential is wasted by a generic villainous arc and, at times, an unbalance of comedy and drama.