The crowded late summer comedy line-up is a three-horse R-rated race between Step Brothers, Tropic Thunder, and Pineapple Express. All three are fairly entertaining and shamelessly vulgar, so it’s just a matter of choosing which flavor you think will satiate your comical palate. You’ll enjoy more of an emotional kick in Step Brothers, and you’ll find a broader satire of the movie industry in Tropic Thunder.
But if you’ve got the munchies for a buddy comedy, score a session of Pineapple Express, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco (in arguably his most convincing role) as (ab)users pursued by a drug lord. Although the film continues the recent glorification of cinematic stoners, which Rogen helped spark with his only other leading role in Knocked Up, sober viewers will also appreciate the everyday humor, which amounts to a more grounded and less absurb version of Harold and Kumar. However, the high wears off during the third act, when the silly action becomes overly staged and loses its allure. Speaking of disappearances, what happened to M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes,” the hit song featured in the trailer?