Thor: Ragnarok feels fresh. Cate Blanchett’s Hela doesn’t.

Like a Halloween haul of glimmering treasures with a pale band of Necco Wafers waiting at the bottom, Thor: Ragnarok is an entertaining gem full of treats and surprises that can’t quite obscure one sad problem: The film’s main villain, Hela, is a disappointment. Adding insult to injury, she’s played by Cate Blanchett, one of the greatest actresses of her generation, who should never be any movie’s Necco Wafer.

Blanchett’s performance as Hela isn’t bad — she fully commits to giving viewers a sumptuous Jack Kirby cosmic necromancer drag queen. She more than holds her own in a movie that features Anthony Hopkins, a resurgent Chris Hemsworth, and Tom Hiddleston, who has benefitted from playing the most charismatic character in the franchise.

No, the problem isn’t Blanchett. It’s Marvel’s disposable villain syndrome.

A common criticism that follows Marvel Studios is that their movies each have essentially the same plot: reluctant hero finds themselves/their team in possession of a super power or weapon, but then villain finds said power or weapon, and the hero(es) must find it in themselves to save the world — but with different superpowers and superheroes. It’s a fair critique, but what’s even more noticeable is how it underscores the fact that Marvel’s villains, no matter how enduring or powerful or enigmatic they are in comic books, often fall flat when they make the leap to the movies.

Hela, Blanchett’s delicious goddess of death, is no exception.

Thor: Ragnarok doesn’t do Blanchett favors by having her hang out alone

To be crystal clear, I’m not here to bury Thor: Ragnarok. It is, without a doubt, the best Thor movie Marvel has created, and director Taika Waititi has made arguably the funniest Marvel film. The scenes with Thor Read More Here