While there are many activities to do during summer vacation, movies remain a popular favorite. From new Marvel installments to music biopics, these are the top five film releases of summer 2022.
5. “Minions: The Rise of Gru” – Released July 1, 2022
– At just under an hour and a half, the second “Minions” movie is the shortest film on our list, but still one of the more enjoyable films to release over the past three months. While serving more as a “Despicable Me” prequel than a “Minions” sequel, the film follows a young Gru (voiced again by Steve Carell) as he tries to join a group of supervillains known as the Vicious 6. After the interview goes south, Gru and his minions spend the rest of the film on the run from the evil supergroup. The film was enjoyable and engaging, and best of all, you do not have to see the first “Minions” movie to understand it. For a great family-friendly film which is not entirely a drag for adults to sit through, look no further than “Minions: The Rise of Gru.”
· Overall Rating: 6/10
4. “Thor: Love and Thunder” – Released July 8, 2022
– The fourth film of the Thor series, and the second directed by Taika Waititi, “Thor: Love and Thunder” blends mythology into Marvel’s superhero formula. In this film, Thor must save New Asgard from Gorr the God-Butcher, who seeks revenge on the gods for allowing his young daughter to die. Gorr, as a character, is one of the best in the film, and I would argue he was not used enough as he could have been. Chris Hemsworth is fantastic though, balancing the attractive superhero with a great sense of humor. Taika Waititi’s Korg is also back and, once again, one of the best parts of the film. It was also nice to see Natalie Portman back, giving a new layer to her performance of Jane Foster. However, compared to the other Thor movies, “Love and Thunder” does not hold up well. It is no “Ragnarok” and does not measure up to the classic status of the first Thor either. “Love and Thunder” is slightly better than “Thor: The Dark World” though, mainly because of a more enjoyable plot.
· Overall Rating: 7/10
3. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – Released May 6, 2022
– One week after Oklahoma Christian students began summer vacation, the Marvel Cinematic Universe released their first theatrical release of 2022. The second Doctor Strange film follows where December’s “Spider-Man: No Way Home” left off. Stephen Strange teams up with a mysterious girl from his dreams who can travel across multiverses. Together, they battle threats, including other versions of himself, which threaten to wipe out millions. The movie manages to wrap up this story which spans universes in just over two hours which, while good for easy watching, does not even begin to scratch the surface of subject matter for the more complex multiverse. While the new “Doctor Strange” did not live up to the hype it received leading up to its premier, it was decent, nonetheless.
· Overall Rating 7/10
2. Elvis – Released June 24, 2022
– Since the movie’s announcement in 2019, the Baz Luhrmann Elvis film became highly anticipated by many. While the King of Rock n’ Roll has been depicted in various biopic movies, none have been as big-budget and mainstream as this one. The result was nothing short of spectacular. The film showcases the entire life of Elvis Presley within two and a half hours through the eyes of Presley’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker. Parker is played by Tom Hanks who, in all honesty, did not give his best performance in this film. However, the greatest highlight of this film was Austin Butler’s performance as Presley. Butler perfectly emulates Presley’s stage presence, mannerisms and of course, his voice. In addition, the film boasts an incredible soundtrack, with some of Presley’s original recordings being remastered with new sounds and instruments. Artists like Doja Cat also include original tracks and Austin Butler is also featured. If you are looking for a film entertaining as both a drama and a rock concert, look no further than Luhrmann’s “Elvis.”
· Overall Rating 8/10
1 Top Gun: Maverick – Released May 27, 2022
– Summer 2022 might as well be 1986. “Running Up That Hill” by Kate Bush is back on the charts thanks to Stranger Things, Journey has released a new album and after 36 years, “Top Gun” has received a sequel. The film once again follows Navy Aviator Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) where, after 30 years of service, he returns to the cockpit training new graduates for a special assignment. The film is marvelously put together with both cinematography and acting as well as music and plot. And what is better, viewing the first “Top Gun” is not necessary to make sense of the film. This is not to say original “Top Gun” fans will be disappointed though, as this film makes enough callbacks to the landmark movie without being bogged down in nostalgia. Easily the best movie of the summer, most likely the best movie of the year, and maybe even the best of the decade. Only time will tell.
· Overall Rating 9/10