Let the summer movie season begin!

I have never been so happy to see Robert Downey Jr. in my life.
Let’s face it, it’s been an underwhelming few months in terms of movie releases.

But next week begins the full summer onlsaught. First up: “Iron Man 3” with the guy we never realized would make the perfect (and perfectly sarcastic) superhero: yup, Robert Downey Jr.

The question here is whether director Shane Black can ably take over for Jon Favreau, who handled the first two “Iron Men.” Favreau was so adept at maneuvering both the action pow and the sharp wit that I worry about bringing in someone who has directed only 2005’s “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” before.

The summer movie I’m really looking forward to is “The Great Gatsby” (May 10). It looks like full-on Baz Luhrmann wackiness, and I love me some Baz wackiness. He even filmed it in 3-D. I’m not sure why he’d need to, but I’m curious to see how he handled it.

Also on my must-see list: “The Heat” (June 28). Sandra Bullock. In a detective buddy comedy. Playing an uptight cop. Paired with a nutty cop. Played by Melissa McCarthy. Written by a “Parks and Recreation” writer. Directed by the “Bridesmaids” director. Sign. Me. Up.

On the male side of buddy-comedy heaven, we have Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson reuniting as two guys who do an internship at Google. I don’t know if they can recapture the magic of “Wedding Crashers” in “The Internship” (June 7), but I sure as heck am going to show up at the theater to find out.

Two films that could be fabulous — or could be utter busts — are “R.I.P.D.” (July 19) and “The Lone Ranger” (July 3). The former is about a couple of undead policemen. The selling point? They’re played by Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds.

“The Lone Ranger” would normally not be on my radar, except that it stars the always-interesting Johnny Depp and is directed by “Pirate of the Caribbean”/“Rango” helmer Gore Verbinski. Deep plays Tonto, and Armie Hammer is The Lone Ranger.

That’s a big-money project. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have Joss Whedon’s low-budget, black-and-white “Much Ado About Nothing” (June 7). He hired friends (Nathan Fillion, Clark Gregg) and filmed it in his house. Sometimes, these kinds of small projects turn out to be the year’s sleepers.

What’s your must-see summer flick?

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