Action comedies are huge in Hollywood, because to the industry’s fondness of genre mashups. Action comedies like Beverly Hills Cop and Hot Fuzz reign supreme.
In most action comedies, the emphasis is on action rather than comedy, or vice versa. It’s rare for a film in this genre to showcase the best of both worlds, but every now and then one does.
Action comedies have the potential to be among the most fun films of all time since they combine the most engaging elements of both action and humor, but there aren’t many of these films. Here are some of the best examples of action comedies that are also comedy.
Added by Colin McCormick on November 25, 2021: The combination of action and humour has a way of enticing spectators. If you’re a fan of action-comedy, you’ll love these movies because they’re packed with adrenaline-pumping action sequences, only to be broken by well-placed laughs. There are always new examples of action-comedy movies that work well when they combine the two genres. Action-comedy fans will be pleased to know that there are a slew of similarly well-balanced films to choose from.
1. Red (2010)
He may be one of the greatest action movie performers of all time, but Bruce Willis is always amusing to watch play about with his tough guy attitude in films like Red. A retired CIA operative is targeted by the government in the film, starring Bruce Willis.
With Morgan Freeman and Helen Mirren playing fierce spies who may be beyond their prime, but still kick plenty of butt, Willis is joined by several other outstanding actors. Acting sequences, such as the one between Willis and Karl Urban, are enjoyable. In a pivotal role, Malkovich turns out to be a riotously quirky comic relief.
2. The Other Guys (2010)
Irreverent buddy-cop comedy The Other Guys stars Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg in an unlikely coupling. Ferrell and Wahlberg star as two underappreciated officers who get together to crack a major case.
Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson play a pair of clichéd cops in the action-packed film directed by Adam McKay. They also make up a great comedy combo, with Wahlberg showing off his unexpected comedic abilities.
3. The Suicide Squad (2021)
It feels like James Gunn was free to pursue his craziest ideas in The Suicide Squad as opposed to his irreverent comedy in the Guardians of the Galaxy films. Group of superheroes are compelled to work together in an R-rated comic book movie.
Taking influence from adventure films like The Dirty Dozen, Gunn injected the film with his dark sense of humor. In the end, we get one of the best action comedies and the bloodiest, funniest, and most crazy comic book movies ever.
4. Spy (2015)
With her typical sense of humor intact, Melissa McCarthy manages to play an action star in Spy while still maintaining her trademark wit. McCarthy takes on the role of a sleuth who is dispatched to the field for a covert operation.
Playing with audience expectations is a big part of the movie’s pleasure with its casting. Fighting scenes have McCarthy at her best, while Jason Statham is hilarious as a bumbling superspy.
5. True Lies (1994)
Another iconic action hero, Arnold Schwarzenegger, is amusing to see in a slightly silly part. As a federal operative in James Cameron’s True Lies, Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a man who tries to hide his perilous lifestyle from his wife (Jamie Lee Curtis).
Action scenes in the film are no surprise, given that this is the second time Schwarzenegger and Cameron have worked together. Schwarzenegger and Curtis provide outstanding comedy performances in the film’s marital narrative, which is also unexpectedly funny.
6. 21 Jump Street (2012)
He set out to merge John Hughes’ high school comedies and Michael Bay’s action blockbusters when Jonah Hill decided to write and appear in a 21 Jump Street revival, an old cop show about undercover officers who infiltrate high schools.
With Hill’s on-screen chemistry with Channing Tatum and the visual flare of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, that odd vision came to fruition. As a sequel, 22 Jump Street is well worth seeing.
7. Kindergarten Cop (1990)
Arnold Schwarzenegger hasn’t always been great at comedy, but when he’s leaned into the self-parody in his comedic roles, he’s been hilarious.
Reitman’s Kindergarten Cop is a perfect example, as the tough-as-nails detective he portrays begins working as a kindergarten teacher in order to apprehend a heroin dealer who is suspected of having contact with his ex-wife and kid.
8. The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015)
I think Guy Ritchie’s film adaption was a wonderful success in capturing the crazy essence of the original TV program while still keeping up with modern action films.
Napoleon Solo is Henry Cavill’s consolation prize after he was passed up for the role of James Bond by Daniel Craig.
9. Bad Boys (1995)
He directed Bad Boys I and II while still working his way up from directing music videos and before commanding nine-figure budgets to create thunderous “Bayhem” spectacles.
When it came to box office, the second was more massive and the third was more well-received than anyone imagined, but the first film still holds up the best because to Will Smith and Martin Lawrence’s unmatched on-screen chemistry.
10. Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)
When Matthew Vaughn adapted Mark Millar’s Kingsman comics for the big screen, he did so with an R-rated sense of humor. This is a Bond movie with a Deadpool twist: Kingsman is self-aware zaniness at its best.
“Eggsy” Taron Egerton, Colin Firth and “Harry Hart” Taron Egerton, Colin Firth and “Harry Hart” Colin Firth, “Harry Hart” Taron Egerton, “Eggsy” In addition, Samuel L. Jackson has a lot of fun hamming it up as Valentine, the villain.
11. Free Fire (2016)
It is Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire’s advantage to keep the plot simple. A botched guns sale in 1970s Boston leads to a bloody gunfight in this thriller. There’s no need for a complicated plot to get in the way of the action and the laughs.
Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, and Sharlto Copley star in Free Fire, which is bolstered by director Wheatley’s command of unorthodox filmmaking techniques.
12. Pineapple Express (2008)
Pineapple Express establishes itself as an action-packed thrill ride early on as the tale of a witness to a mob hit who goes on the run. Furthermore, there’s also a fair amount of fun because the witness is a stoner.
The major actors, Seth Rogen and James Franco, are entertaining, and the supporting cast, which includes Danny McBride and Craig Robinson, also contributes to the film’s comedic tone. The action sequences in this film are shot to perfection thanks to director David Gordon Green and cinematographer Tim Orr.
13. 48 Hrs. (1982)
When it comes to action and comedic set pieces in the buddy cop genre, Walter Hill’s48 Hrs. is a classic. It contains a 50/50 mix of both.
In this film about a no-nonsense cop (Nolte) who grudgingly releases a criminal (Murphy) out of jail for 48 hours to help him track down his old partner-in-crime, he plays a comic contrast to Eddie Murphy’s wacky antics. They’re the perfect example of a buddy cop team gone awry.
14. Big Trouble In Little China (1986)
Starz and Spectrum On Demand both have the show available for viewing.
After the heyday of the kung fu movie in the ’70s, the ’80s brought a new period of bizarre action and occult themes to the genre. The most outlandish interpretation of this occurred in the film Big Trouble in Little China.
Jack Burton (Kurt Russell) is a truck driver who helps Wang Chi (Wang Chi’s best friend) recover his fiancée from an old sorcerer who has trapped her in the hidden underworld under Chinatown. Playing Russell’s regular strong man character as an incompetent loser who is entirely equipped for combat scenarios is brilliantly subverted by the actor.
15. Tropic Thunder (2008)
If you’ve ever been on a war movie set like Ben Stiller’s parents were in the film business, you know that the actors handle their experience as if they’ve been in the middle of an actual battle. In other words, when Stiller broke out on his own as a filmmaker, he turned his attention to the absurdity of actors appearing in war films.
Tropic Thunder is filled with laughs and action, thanks to the talents of Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., Jack Black, and the rest of the supporting ensemble, including Tom Cruise, who plays a cruel, giant-handed studio executive.
16. Rumble In The Bronx (1995)
Action hero Jackie Chan is known for his unique fusion of Buster Keaton-style kung-fu and physical comedy. From the Police Story trilogy to The Tuxedo, Chan has successfully blended these two elements together on screen.
Rumble in the Bronx, in which Chan plays a Hong Kong cop who travels to New York and joins a local gang to bring down a criminal organization, is the film that first caught the attention of Hollywood.
17. The Nice Guys (2016)
In Shane Black’s The Nice Guys, the audience should have given it a lot more attention. It got buried at the multiplexes in 2016 because of Captain America: Civil War and Me Before You, yet it is one of the most passionately creative movies in years.
There are two mismatched private investigators, Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe, in this noir-tinged buddy police story set in the 1970s. It would be amazing to see Gosling and Crowe back together for a sequel.
18. Midnight Run (1988)
Martin Brest’s Midnight Run is essentially Planes, Trains, and Automobiles with firearms.. Charles Grodin plays a mob accountant named Jonathan Mardukas, played by Robert De Niro’s bounty hunter character, Jack Walsh, in the film.
Both De Niro and Grodin are flawlessly cast, with the former nailing his first comedy role while the latter delivers every word with his trademark precision.
19. Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
It was originally planned to be a dark, dramatic action thriller written by Sylvester Stallone for Beverly Hills Cop, which he was going to star in. Stallone walked out when the producers decided to make it funny, and Eddie Murphy joined Beverly Hills Cop to bring his uncontrolled comic energy along with him.
This is Martin Brest’s debut feature film, and he does an excellent job of keeping the plot moving forward with a sense of urgency. Meanwhile, Cillian Murphy makes the most of his chance to appear in a major motion picture with plenty of improvised humor.
20. Hot Fuzz (2007)
Edgar Wright’s Hot Fuzz is a buddy police movie satire, but it’s also an excellent example of the genre. As a big-city cop who moves to a tiny town, Simon Pegg is partnered with Nick Frost, a clumsy local cop. Their investigation uncovers an extensive conspiracy in a crime-free town with a high accident rate.
While most comedic filmmakers are content to rely on dialogue alone, Wright is an exception since he uses framing and editing to enhance the humor.