A Definitive Summer Movie Guide

Medha Upadhyay, Features Editor

Summer. The time of year for relaxing, going on vacation and watching every single blockbuster movie that Hollywood tries to shove down your throat. Or not. In case you missed any of this summer’s big-budget movies, fear not! Here’s a quick review of six of the summer’s biggest movies, and verdicts on whether you should make the effort to watch them or not.


“Incredibles 2”

June 15, 2018

Pros: The plot of Incredibles 2 is definitely made for children; the “plot twist” is predictable, and everything goes along pretty simply until the very end. So far, so good.

Cons: The villain’s arrival is where the storyline start to go awry. Screenslaver hypnotizes people through screens. Today’s children can hardly remember a time without screens, they are not going to accept this social commentary. Just like that, the movie loses the interest of every child in the audience. Kids won’t believe it; this speech is falling on deaf ears. Anyway, movies are watched on screens, which means that they are profiting off the supposed screen addiction of children. It leaves the movie reeking of hypocrisy. The whole movie reads like a very long lecture, and loses its appeal for kids very quickly. It’s sad that the studio that showed us the truth behind monsters in closets is now siding with the parents.

Speaking of the parents, Mr. and Mrs. Incredible are going through mid-life crises. Their kids just serve to show how difficult parenting is. Violet’s waist is smaller than her head, and she is weirdly obsessed with dating a guy that she has never talked to in her life. Jack-Jack has somehow accumulated every single superpower in the universe. Dash seems like the only normal kid: he’s struggling with math homework and doesn’t like vegetables.

Verdict: Watch it for nostalgia if you were around when the first movie came out. Or if you are a parent going through a mid-life crisis and secretly dream of becoming a superhero (hey, no shame).


“Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom”

June 22, 2018

This movie marks the return of the dinosaurs!

Pros: Lots of dinosaurs! The CGI in the Jurassic World movies is amazing, and the dinosaurs are wonderful to watch. This movie also brings up interesting moral dilemmas. Should the dinosaurs be left to die? After all, they are supposed to be extinct. Do they deserve the same rights as other species? The storyline also touches on the commercialization of science and how pure inventions can be turned into deadly things.

Cons: As with the first Jurassic World, don’t focus on plot strength. There are more plot holes in this movie than teeth in a velociraptor’s jaws. Character development is sketchy at best: why did Claire go from a cold-hearted businesswoman to an animal’s right activist? Decision making is rather weak as well: why would you build a billion dollar theme park on an island with a volcano on it? Are scientists so isolated from real life that they can forgo common sense altogether?

Verdict: Don’t think too much while watching it, because you’ll be thinking about this one long after you’re done watching.


“Ant-Man and the Wasp”

July 6, 2018*

*Audiences may be confused as to how this movie can take place after “Avengers: Infinity War”. Fear not, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has its timeline meticulously laid out. “Ant-Man and the Wasp” takes place during the events of “Avengers: Infinity War”, explaining Ant-Man’s absence from the magnanimous battle. Scott Lang, a.k.a. Ant-Man, is under house arrest for going against the Sokovia Accords in “Captain America: Civil War”. The timeline is further clarified if you sit through the post credit scenes!

Pros: This movie is simplified; it lets you focus on the heroes you came to watch: Ant-Man and the Wasp. There are no wild cameos from other big name heroes, no random team ups for a final climactic battle; it’s just Ant-Man and the Wasp. Sweet and simple.

Similarly, the plot makes sense and is relatively easy to follow. The movie comes to life with Paul Rudd as Ant-Man and Michael Pena as Luis. Their jokes and facial expressions keep the story moving and never let the movie get boring. Hannah John-Kamen as Ghost brings searing, painfully good dialogue delivery that blesses the movie with moral shades of gray. Also, the movie is set in San Francisco, so there are lots of local spots to look out for!

Cons: This movie suffers from a scientific loophole: impossible things happen to further the plot and everyone claims that it’s science. The good news is that Scott Lang is no scientist either, so you can just follow along with him as he ignores all the weird quantum theory that Dr. Pym spews.

Verdict: After watching all your favorites die, watch “Ant-Man and the Wasp” to cure your “Infinity War” depression.


“Mission Impossible: Fallout”

July 27, 2018

Pros: Tom Cruise is a legend. He’s 56 years old, but he does all of his own stunts; it’s almost a work of art. Keep this in mind while you’re watching the movie, and you will definitely be amazed by his skills. Along with the beautiful action sequences, the movie still manages to pull on a few heartstrings with some well-placed blasts from the past. “Fallout” also has an intricate plot; make sure you watch the movie with friends so you have someone to help you puzzle through the layers of espionage.

The movie is full of fancy European locations. Parts of the movie take place in France and London, and these cities are just as stunning as you’d expect. The climax scene takes place in “Kashmir”, is actually filmed in New Zealand, and is altogether breathtaking.

Cons: “Fallout” is … different from the other Mission Impossible movies because it lacks the impossible charm, and it feels more like a regular action movie. There are only two or three iconic scenes that leave you feeling completely in awe. There is an awkward romantic angle, but it’s so small that it’s pretty negligible.

Verdict: Watch it as a regular action movie, with the bonus of Tom Cruise, without “Mission Impossible” expectations, and you’ll be set.


“Crazy Rich Asians”

Aug. 15, 2018

Pros: The movie really does give a nice glimpse into the life of high profile Asians; if, for nothing else, watch it for the lifestyle. The cars! The houses! The private islands! The clothes! *heart eyes* The plot is predictable, like most rom-coms, but there are a few twists throughout the movie. If you watch long-running Asian or South Asian TV serials, these might feel familiar to you: affairs, long-lost dead people are actually alive, etc. The story lands in the perfect middle ground of not being too complicated, but is still interesting enough.

Most of the characters feel like a bundle of stereotypes: the handsome bachelor, the wacky best friend, the strict matriarch, the stoic sister, the immigrant mother who sacrificed everything for her daughter and the compassionate grandmother. Still, that’s all the story needs from them, because in Constance Wu’s Rachel, there is a world to explore. She’s funny, brave, smart and stubborn. For one of the first female Asian protagonists in a major Hollywood movie, she’s worth the hype.

Cons: Crazy Rich Asians is a rom-com, but with more romance and less comedy. The movie itself is not that funny, but it is peppered with a few jokes here and there.

Verdict: Watch it if you’re looking for a strong, relatable, female Asian protagonist with a formidable character arc.


“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”

August 17, 2018

“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” is a cutesy high-school rom-com; the plot is simple, but it’s the little moments that shine.

Pros: Certain dialogues, facial expressions and little gestures that the actors make are what you remember long after the movie is over. Whether it’s Peter setting aside a bowl of popcorn before a pillow fight gets too rowdy, or Lara Jean’s adorable lock screen, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts for this movie. The cute friendships, happy endings, and elements of luck will leave you with a positive view of the world and lots of warm fuzzy feelings. Also, everything is beautiful! This movie is like a YouTube travel vlog; the cinematography is gorgeous and everyone dresses so well.

Luckily enough, “TATBILB” was produced and distributed by Netflix, so you can watch it over and over again.

Con: This movie is pretty predictable; there are no real plot twists, and there is a simple happy ending.

Verdict: Watch with a friend in your pajamas with fluffy blankets at night.

Watching movies can be a great escape from your day-to-day life, or leave you with a sour taste in your mouth. Hopefully, this guide will help you catch up on the summer movies you might have missed. Happy watching!