Based on the recent box office success of Bullet Train and the buzz surrounding the announcement that Hugh Jackman will reprise his role as Wolverine alongside Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool 3, it’s clear that action comedies will always be a huge draw for moviegoers. Combining the explosive thrills of action movies and the hilarious gags of comedy movies, action comedies can make for some of the most entertaining movies out there.
Bad Boys II (2003)
Detective Marcus Burnett and Mike Lowrey returned to screens for an even more explosive, even more outrageous outing in Bad Boys II. Amidst the flurry of biting banter, furious firefights, and far-fetched vehicular mayhem, Bad Boys II tells a story about ride-or-die BFFs teaming up to take on drug traffickers in Miami.
Will Smith and Martin Lawrence’s on-screen chemistry is more comfortable and confident the second time around, and Michael Bay uses the sequel’s inflated budget to unleash even more Bayhem on the audience.
Pineapple Express (2008)
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s Pineapple Express has a pretty standard setup for an action thriller storyline: two friends go on the run after one of them witnesses a gruesome mob hit. The twist is that these two fugitives are stoned the whole time.
Every action scene in Pineapple Express has a comedic flourish, like a chase between two police squad cars with a foot stuck through one of the windshields.
Black Dynamite (2009)
Scott Sanders’ ‘70s-set satire Black Dynamite is both a searing spoof and a loving homage to the blaxploitation genre. Michael Jai White stars as the titular Vietnam War veteran and ex-CIA officer, who vows to rid the streets of gangs and drug dealers following the murder of his younger brother.
The beautifully absurd narrative of Black Dynamite gets more and more ridiculous as the movie goes on; eventually, the ghost of Abraham Lincoln makes an appearance.
Johnny English (2003)
Rowan Atkinson’s most iconic roles will always be Edmund Blackadder and Mr. Bean, but the titular bumbling spy in Johnny English is a close third. From shootouts to car chases, the action in Johnny English is thrilling – but there’s always a comedic twist.
Whether he’s tap-dancing on a coffin, lip-syncing to ABBA in front of the whole world, or infiltrating a hospital that he mistook for the villain’s headquarters, Johnny’s best espionage efforts always blow up in his face.
Kung Fu Hustle (2004)
Stephen Chow directed, produced, co-wrote, and starred in Kung Fu Hustle, a 1940s-set action comedy extravaganza about an aspiring gangster in a village overrun by violence and intimidation. This delightfully ludicrous movie plays like a live-action cartoon.
Yuen Woo-ping’s riveting martial arts choreography strikes the ideal balance between action-packed thrills and slapstick hilarity.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
Shane Black, one of the most acclaimed action screenwriters in Hollywood and one of the pioneers of the “buddy cop” genre, made his directorial debut with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Robert Downey, Jr. stars as a newly discovered actor alongside Val Kilmer as the private eye who recruits his help in his latest investigation.
Downey and Kilmer bring Black’s sharp, witty dialogue to life, while the fast-paced storytelling subverts just about every well-worn trope of the film noir – starting with its self-aware voiceover narration.
Tropic Thunder (2008)
Ben Stiller satirized everything from the conventions of war films to the phoniness and vapidity of Hollywood movie stars with his incisive action comedy Tropic Thunder. The movie revolves around a troupe of actors who unwittingly find themselves in the middle of an actual warzone while working on a Vietnam War movie.
This movie has both an enormous explosion that totals a jungle and a foul-mouthed Tom Cruise playing a balding, short-tempered studio executive with giant prosthetic hands.
The Incredibles (2004)
Pixar took on comic book lore in The Incredibles, the story of a family of superhumans trying to hide their abilities in a world where superheroes have been outlawed. With its satirical deconstruction of the superhero myth, The Incredibles is essentially Watchmen for kids.
Writer-director Brad Bird strikes the perfect balance between explosive comic book action like fighting a robot in the jungle and relatable family situations like bickering about traffic on the freeway.
Team America: World Police (2004)
Trey Parker and Matt Stone brought their unique brand of pitch-black humor to the big screen in Team America: World Police. This searing political comedy tells the story of a Broadway actor being recruited by an American counterterrorism squad to foil a nefarious North Korean plot.
The movie makes ingenious use of Thunderbirds-style puppetry to satirize both U.S. foreign policy and the tropes and conventions of Michael Bay action movies.
Hot Fuzz (2007)
Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost followed up their acclaimed zombie satire Shaun of the Dead with a spoof of a different staple of genre cinema: the “buddy cop” formula. Hot Fuzz revolves around the mismatched pairing of a hotshot big-city cop and a bumbling small-town cop as they uncover a sinister conspiracy in a sleepy English village.
Not only does Hot Fuzz exhibit a pitch-perfect blend of visceral action and laugh-out-loud comedy; sometimes, the two meet, like in the shortest car chase in film history.