Movies: 10 summer blockbusters to get excited about this year
Roll cameras, this summer’s blockbusters are gonna cause an absolute scene…
The summer release window is traditionally the time of year when the big studios line-up to drop their blockbusters and it marks a fairly intense key change from the art housery of the pre-Oscar slew. ‘Out’ with the monochrome, monologuing and subtitles; ‘in’ with the summer furor — conceived to get posteriors-on-seats with big stars and big receipts. They’re action-packed, made-to-chew-popcorn-to, CGI enhanced, mega budget flights of whimsy filled with gratuitous shots of slow walks away from explosions. And this year’s crop look particularly worthy of beating a retreat from the summer heat.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
A lot has happened in the MCU since Dr Stephen Strange first took a running leap into the bilious technicolor eddies of the multiverse back in 2016. We’ve got a new Captain America, half of all life in the universe was snapped out and then back into existence, and then they did that Spider-Man finger point meme thing. But with the chaotic divergent fall-out from the conclusion of Disney+ series Loki, and the dizzying climax of Spider-Man: No Way Home, along with the threat of a mysterious and powerful new antagonist — there’s no rest for the good doctor, who has fourteen million, six hundred and five problems, and we predict the Scarlet Witch might well just be one.
Expected: May 6, 2022
Legally Blonde 3
On paper, the premise of the original Legally Blonde movie (2001) doesn’t sound like the formula for an enduring cult classic — girl falls for guy, girl gets guy, couple split, girl attempts to win back guy by putting herself through Harvard Law School and absolutely bossing a legal career. But 21 years, a sequel and a Broadway musical spin-off later — the public’s hunger for the Reese Witherspoon interpretation of Elle Woods has “sustained” without “objection”. In fact despite there being next-to-no plot details anywhere out there in internet land, this third movie, which includes writing credits for the outrageously talented Mindy Kaling and Dan Goor, has already generated quite the buzz. We can’t wait to see what’s next for the one-time “Runner-Up of the Miss Hawaiian Tropics” contest.
Expected: May 20, 2022
Top Gun: Maverick
On initial inspection, this movie has some worrying pockets of potential turbulence. It’s a sequel arriving a full three and a half decades after the original, its main star is now nearly 60 (although still somehow manages to look like an Athenian carving), and the trailer teases sections of dialogue that are so spine-tingling corny you could pop them in a kettle and serve them in a concessions stand. The release has also been pushed back several times over the past three years. This time around the unteachable has become the teacher — impossibly talented flight school clown Maverick, who’s presumably spent the past 40 years getting up the mustached nostrils of haughty starch shirted-officers for lols, has been ordered to train four fresh recruits. You might say, this movie has no business in being great. But on-premise, neither did the original. Of course we’re going to watch it, and of course we’ll revel in its retro-kitsch, nostalgic fromagerie. Weapons hot, it’s time to buzz the tower for one last run. It’s what Goose would have wanted.
Expected: May 22, 2022
Jurassic World Dominion
The Carnotaurus is out of the bag. Following the cataclysmic finale of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) human beings are now forced to coexist in a world with giant extinction-teasing murder lizards. This is the third film of the Jurassic World Series (and the sixth of the Jurassic Park saga overall) and sees Chris Pratt teaming up with OG dino dodgers Laura Dern, Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum — to help humanity avoid ending up as an extended velociraptor tasting menu. It’s great that they’ve got the band back together (sans Richard *sobs* Attenborough), but really at this point, if human beings haven’t learned to stop poking the Dilophosaurus nest, do we even deserve a happy ending?
Expected: June 10, 2022
Where The Crawdads Sing
Adapted from the brilliant Delia Owens novel of the same name, Where The Crawdads Sing is directed by Olivia Newman and stars Daisy Edgar-Jones, Taylor John Smith, and Harris Dickinson. Our story begins in the rural hinterlands of 1950s North Carolina — a place in that epoch not known for judicial integrity. Kya, a young and modestly educated girl, is accused of murdering an abusive lover — and whilst this visual interpretation will lose some substance without the glowing descriptive prose of the book, we’re still looking forward to watching the tense construction of doubt and suspicion play out on the big screen.
Expected: June 15, 2022
Before infinity. This Pixar origin story chronicles the genesis of Buzz Lightyear. The man that inspired the fictional toy, which in turn inspired a whole load of real-world toys. Look it gets confusing but stick with us. The almost-impossible-to-dislike Chris Evans is taking the lead on this animated epic, and puts in a studied ‘Tim Allen’ voice performance. Our hero, Buzz leads an exodus mission, attempting to save the remaining human inhabitants of a distant colony planet, as it’s slowly reclaimed by a rival community of tentacled inhabitants. And this time, there’s no Woody to scoop him up by the Star Command jetpack and gallop away to safety. The trailer is filled with that trademark, multi-level Disney humour, subtle nods to Toy Story lore and a David Bowie hat-tip that just gives you the Major Tom fuzzies. And it’s a Pixar legacy project, so in terms of quality of craft, and box office performance, this is as close to sure thing as you’ll find in cinema. There might not be a snake in our boots, but there is a little mist in our eyes.
Expected: June 17, 2022
Baz Luhrmann projects don’t come around often, but when they do — we’re borderline guaranteed a spectacle. His latest, out in June, is another celebration of music, a biopic with the limelight focused intently on the undisputed King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley. Taking the titular lead, is Austin Butler — who you may remember from playing tussled high school crushes in both Hannah Montanna and iCarly — a finer pedigree for teenage hearthrob, you’re unlikely to see. Despite initially offering only a passing resemblance to the legend, the trailer showcases a stage charisma that feels hauntingly accurate. Tom Hanks joins the cast as Colonel Tom Parker, the man who ‘discovered’ Elvis, became his manager and helped forge an icon. We’re given glimpses of a world charged with racial tension, the entertainment paradigm shift left in the wake of the first truly global megastar, what happens when that star’s fire begins to wane, and the internal void that opens when the lights go off. Like a river flows, surely to the sea, darling, so it goes… This feels meant to be.
Expected: June 24, 2022
Thor: Love and Thunder
Taika Waititi’s second crack at Asgardian magic, Thor: Love and Thunder — reunites us with battle-worn Scandinavian deity, and Avenger, Thor. Despite opting out of the third film in the Saga, Thor: Ragnarok, Natalie Portman returns as Jane Foster and if this movie follows a Mighty Thor comic trajectory as Waititi has hinted at — we’re highly likely to see Portman donning her own cape and becoming an avatar of the thunder lord herself. Villainy is supplied by Christian Bale who’s set to hit screens as Gorr, a bad guy with pretty lofty mission aspirations, even for a Marvel character; and everyone’s favourite ragtag bunch of space bandits, The Guardians of the Galaxy are also slated to appear. We’ve got nothing but love for the way Waititi tells his stories on screen, how his humour and abstract asides add to the MCU’s tapestry rather than pick away its threads. Though it’s unlikely to dictate the flow of Phase Four, Chris Hemsworth and Waititi make movies that are a sight for Thor eyes.
Expected: July 8, 2022
Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank
Who ordered the animated reboot of 1974 Mel Brooks film Blazing Saddles? Nobody? *checks notes* Well there’s one on the way to cinemas this July. Look in all fairness this film, which was initially given the working title ‘Blazing Samurai‘, has a pretty solid cast — Michael Cera, Samuel L. Jackson, Ricky Gervais, Mel Brooks, George Takei, Djimon Hounsou, and Michelle Yeoh; and it draws from a well-loved comedy classic, which itself was a satire of 70s Westerns, and is now immortalised in the USA’s National Film Registry. We don’t have officially confirmed plot details yet, but even if the movie only roughly traces the Brooks original, expect it to feature an outsider character thrust into power (safe to say, an ‘unlikely’ samurai), being faced with the daunting task of defending their village against enemy forces that out man and out gun (paw) them. Side note, anybody else notice this recent trend of whacking colons in movie titles? It feels: Lazy.
Expected: July 22, 2022
Based on a Kōtarō Isaka novel, directed by David ‘John Wick’ Leitch and starring Brad Pitt in the lead role — there are a lot of reasons why we’re excited about Bullet Train. It’s a heist movie, based on a train with a hitman looking to retire, but is dragged back in for one last score. Ok it’s not the most original premise, but the elements are there for an action classic, and for that reason, you son of a gun, we’re in.
Expected: July 29, 2022