Summer Trilogies Rated

There are a lot of sequels making their way to the cineplex this summer. In particular, there's a good number of "three" movies; that is, third films in a trilogy. The first big one slings its web this weekend, and I thought it was the right time to take a look at these series of films and rank them in order of "must see" status.

If The Word Is Good, I'll See: The Rush Hour Trilogy
One of this summer's hottest burning questions is: Can Chris Tucker still bring it? We know Jackie Chan can bring it. He's 83 years old, but he'll bring it. But I heard Tucker went born-again on us and doesn't like to curse anymore. Shampoo that! Chris, you better bring the realness. For real.

Will Eventually See: The Shrek Trilogy
The Shrek movies make me smile and think happy thoughts. I hear Donkey say something funny, reveal his choppers, and I'm sent into a state of comedic euphoria. But then I leave the theater and I forget almost everything. By the way, the third film in this series is called Shrek The Third. Is it me or is this a bad headline waiting to happen? You know some sourpuss is going to headline with "Shrek The Turd." It's gotta happen, right?

Will See: The Pirates Trilogy
Mixed feelings on this trilogy. Everybody loved Curse of the Black Pearl. Me, not so much. Loved Depp. Loved Rush. But the movie felt about 45 minutes too long in my book. I missed the second movie when it came out last summer because I kept getting mixed signals from the people I talked to. When I finally caught up with Dead Man's Chest, I was shocked by how good and how much fun it was (even if it was really long). This time, it will take more than a Kraaken to keep me from missing At Worlds End.

Okay, that's a boldface lie, a Kraaken would actually keep me home. But you get my meaning.

Can't Help But See: The Ocean's Trilogy
I'm one of the few freaks on this planet that actually loved both Ocean's Eleven and the arty, loosey-goosey Ocean's Twelve (even Clooney dissed the second one). Now you add my favorite actor, Al Pacino, into the third film's Chex party mix? These movies are trivial, but they're memorably fun (as opposed to Shrek-fun).

Can't Wait To See: The Spiderman Trilogy
My take on this series is very simple. I thought the first half of the first movie was near-perfect. The second half ... eh. But Spiderman 2 ... that baby will take the cool off of an ice cube. It's one of the best superhero movies ever made. Period. Venom on the horizon now? If this disappoints, I will be ruffling some feathers over it.

There Opening Night: The Bourne Trilogy
Sigh. I've already expressed my man-crush on the Bourne franchise, but what can I say, it's the action franchise of our times. Pirates, Spiderman ... these movies could have been made (in spirit) in almost any era. But the Bourne franchise is pure 21st-century sensibilities. A smart action flick on a hot August day? Lay it on me.

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Dre writes three times a week for, covering movies and DVD with his Floridian flare. E-mail him!