Summer 2022 movie reviews: Minions and Top Gun Maverick

Riya Kapoor & Finn Harrison, Managing Editor of Collaborations & Managing Editor of Politics

Photo Courtesy of Illumination Entertainment

A young gut and his hopelessly devoted minions stand together.

Summer 2022 has kept us racing back to the movie theater with the release of both long awaited films, Top Gun Maverick and Minions: The Rise of Gru.

As both nostalgic adults and curious teens fell head over heels for the film, this was the summer of Top Gun Maverick. Coming out on May 27, 2022, quite literally the first day of summer for us LFA students, Top Gun Maverick would come to dominate theaters for much of the summer. Tom Cruise reprises his role as ‘Maverick’ 36 years after originally playing the suave reckless pilot. The film not only features much of the original cast like Van Klimer and Jennifer Connelly, but also new stars such as Miles Teller, Monica Barbaro, Glen Powell, and Jay Ellis. The movie, like its prequel, carried out the same 80s Air Force aesthetic that had made the first film so popular, inspiring a new generation of young men to grow ‘staches, invest in a pair of aviators, and create an 80s playlist. The film, reaching an audience across generations, made its way into the cultural zeitgeist of Summer’ 22.

But as summer moved on, competition flew into the box offices. On July 1st, 2022, Minions: The Rise of Gru aired in theaters and quickly took the top spot at the box offices, moving Elvis into second, and Top Gun into third. Over the series, we have been able to follow the comedic, yet heartwarming, story of Gru and the minions who have helped him through his life endeavors. The plot of the movie surrounds a young Gru, and his voyage to join the Vicious Six, a group of super-villains. Unlike the other movies, the Minions movie shows us how the companionship between Gru and the minions came to be. We watch as the minions become hopelessly devoted to their ‘mini-boss’ and go to extreme lengths to protect and support him. Aside from watching the comedic geniuses that are the minions, a favorite part of the movie for many was being able to see another side of Gru. In previous movies, he is depicted as a failed pessimistic villain, but the Minions movie shows a softer side, in which we see Gru as a child with dreams and hopes for the future. The movie was given 3 stars on Roger-Ebert’s movie reviews, but in my book, the performance of our favorite yellow friends deserves 5 stars.