And Vellani is the real standout star, a refreshingly human presence in stark contrast to Larson’s cool and unflappable Captain Marvel. As Kamala/Ms Marvel, you see in her someone who is excited and overwhelmed, in over her head and learning on the go. I wish they’d gone further with a conflict between her and her idol that is too quickly resolved. There is a warm sitcom tidiness to most of the conflicts here, right down to the Khan family shaking their heads at their daughter after a near-death incident as though she’d just borrowed the car without permission.
It’s supposed to be a big deal that this movie has all women fighting a villain who’s a woman, but as is often the case with Marvel’s girl power attempts, it feels a little pandering in all the wrong places and doesn’t really engage with any specific or unique female point of view. When our three heroes suit up, they do so off screen and come out with fresh hairdos and makeup.
They look like their best selves and will continue looking like their best selves throughout a harrowing battle, which leaves some of their uniforms torn but not an eyelash out of place. I thought we’d reached a pro-hair tie place with our female superheroes, but these women, including Dar-Benn, are defiantly against the convenience; instead, they’re constantly flipping their locks out of their eyes during fights, despite seeming more practical than that.