I don’t know if it was a contract thing with Portman; more likely she didn’t want to do it and they didn’t see the need to force her to do it.
I liked the film a lot. Not quite GotG-level for me, but a lot of fun. It was definitely two different movies wedged together though. I’d have liked a bit more of the Hela/Ragnarok stuff, even though I really enjoyed everything in the Planet Hulk section.
I assume that we spent some time with Sif going up against Hela at some point but it was cut out. I’d have liked to have seen The Resistance on Asgard do a bit more.
That whole Doctor Strange section added nothing, and if they hadn’t already commited to it by including the scene in that post-credits bit, it would have been easy to cut it out.
Loved Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie. All the new characters were pretty great.