Jim’s review published on Letterboxd:
Probably one of the best Marvel films that’s ever been done and I think it quite decisively overthrows Guardians of the Galaxy as far as Colourful Fun In Space goes.
Surprised to say it, but I think Chris Hemsworth may have even greater natural chemistry and comic timing than Chris Pratt. He’s a pure delight in this, as are most of the cast. Everybody’s having a lot of fun and it definitely shows.
Jeff Goldblum is absolutely fantastic (obviously) and despite the fact he already gets a fair enough share of the screentime, I was left wanting even more. It just felt like Jeff Goldblum was hanging out in a Marvel film rather than trying to occupy a role, which is exactly what I needed. Despite the fact the guy loathes comics, he absolutely belongs in one - he’s a big warm flurry of vibrant, kinetic expression.
The humour is very much Waititi and he does a great job of working jokes within the confines of a typical Marvel movie’s structure. His self-insert character is a real treat and I hope he shows up again. Get Iron Man and Spider-Man and Dr. Strange outta here and make way for Korg.
Biggest surprise of the film is that there’s a quiet rumination about imperialism in here - perhaps Waititi putting a brand of personal experience on the film. It’s a shame Marvel films are on such a tight commercial-creative leash, as it would be really interesting to have those ideas drawn out of the background and thrust into the centre of the story.
As far as gripes go, the film has a messy opening act (that does an admirable job of sweeping Dark World’s story threads under a rug) and the scenes back on Asgard with Hela kill some of the film’s forward momentum. The CG is wildly all over the place too - most bizarrely, it’s able to pull off some incredibly impressive all-CG setpieces with no issues but then stumbles on really basic stuff like Thor and Odin standing in front of green-screen. A lot of scenes lack a physical weight too - you never really feel like anyone’s actually being hit with a hammer.
Also the guy in the cinema who cheered for the Marvel logo and did big football claps for Stan Lee’s cameo can get to fuck (says the guy who will probably screech down the entire Odeon Cinema when Luke Skywalker finally draws his lightsaber in The Last Jedi)