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2022 – An old/new summer in cinemas (Part 1)

The summer movie season is upon us! 2022 finally arrives with a hefty summer movie line-up compared to the lacklustre COVID output of the past two years, and looks to be something of a return to the expectations of the pre-pandemic world. There’ll be blockbusters like Tom Cruise’s Top Gun, a return to Jurassic World, Thor gets another movie, and there’ll be some extra horror like Alex Garland’s Men, Jordan Peele’s Nope, but we can also include David Cronenberg’s mind-bender Crimes of the Future. We’ve picked out some of the most promising premieres of the coming weeks, and of course the summer…

Alex Garland’s new film Men, from Ex Machina director Alex Garland, is in cinemas from the end of May and is likely to be the strangest, most unsettling thriller of the coming months. Jessie Buckley plays Harper, who goes on holiday alone in the English countryside after the death of her husband. When she arrives at her beautiful apartment, she meets the owner, Geoffrey – played by Rory Kinnear – and as she explores the area, she discovers that in the nearby village every man in the village looks like Kinnear, whether it’s the naked man chasing her, a foul-mouthed child, the priest or the policeman who comes to her rescue.

Thirty-six years have passed since Tom Cruise’s immortal Top Gun, and now it’s time to dust it off and give it a serious sequel. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell is the daredevil test pilot, but even as he raises the bar, he cleverly dodges the promotion that would require him to serve on the ground. When a squadron of Top Gun trainees must be trained for a special mission the likes of which no living pilot has ever seen, Maverick is brought together by fate with the Rooster call sign of Lieutenant Bradley Bradshaw (Miles Teller, Whiplash), son of Maverick’s late friend Goose… Director Joseph Kosinski made his directorial debut with TRON: Inheritance and teamed up with Tom Cruise for the forgettable Forgetting in 2013. Top Gun: Maverick has received very positive reviews from critics, so we’re looking forward to its release at the end of May.

One of Cannes’ perennial favourites, biopic horror creator and master David Cronenberg is coming to the festival with a new film after a seven-year hiatus, but his last strong film, Eastern Promises, was released in 2007. Judging by the trailer for Crimes of the Future, we can expect a dark, bizarre sci-fi with an extra cast including the director’s favourite Viggo Mortensen, French actress Léa Seydoux, and Kristen Stewart, who recently starred as Princess Diana.

Whether the world needs another Jurassic Park film is open to question, but Jurassic World: World Domination is set to be one of the summer’s blockbusters, arriving in cinemas in early June. The title of the sixth movie suggests that dinosaurs are ready to take over the world, so Owen Grady and Claire Dearing will have to pull up their pants, but luckily they’ll have the first film’s trio of Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum to reunite in the theme park after almost thirty years.

The other returning filmmaker of the summer is Baz Luhrmann, director of Moulin Rouge, who last came out with a new film nine years ago. Elvis, which will debut at the end of June, will follow the life of rock ‘n roll legend Elvis Presley, focusing on his not-so-happy relationship with his manager, Tom Parker. Starring Austin Butler, the film will also feature recent Oscar nominee Kodi Smit-McPhee, who most recently appeared in the film The Power of the Dog.