There’s no better way to solidify your friendship than by watching action comedy movies together. The number of laughs you’ll have will bring you all together, making the loss of those ephemeral friendships that much harder to get over. An awesome breakdown of what counts as great action-comedy and visual comedy comes from Every Frame a Painting.
Kung Fu Hustle
This movie is one of the best, lighthearted, action comedy movies to watch with people you’ve only met recently. It has a great plot progression, amazing fight scenes, and characters that you want to care about.
It’s got that traditional martial arts movie feel: bad guys who want to hurt the good guys for absolutely no reason other than (possibly) issues that stem from the bad guys’ childhoods. It’s always funny and over the top.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
This action-comedy movie is directed by Edgar Wright. It is an amazing adaptation of the graphic novel. The story takes place in Canada, the most feared nation in the history of civilization.
Action comedies like these are great because the story grips your attention with the protagonist’s desire to defeat seven evil exes. The film has amazing, dry wit dispersed throughout itself. The story has one, real, simplistic goal: date Ramona Flowers.
Dumb and Dumber
There’s a lot of slapstick in here that many other films could take a cue from. The protagonists are as dumb as septic tanks filled to the brim with used corn. Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels play these characters very well. While it’s an oldie, it’s also a goodie.
They have one goal: deliver a suitcase. There’s even a scene where they are riding a tiny motorcycle in freezing weather, one has to pee, and the other says “just go, man.” When they arrive, they get off the bike and are stuck to each other.
Swiss Army Man
This is a weird, indie, magical-realism film that has left a lasting impression on its viewers. Daniel Radcliffe plays a corpse. There are many unscientific theories as to what this movie is about. While it seems that it started as a fart joke, some on the internet have interpreted it as being about gender and identity.
Regardless of what the meaning is or what it could be interpreted as meaning, it is a very odd film. If your dorm is full of insincere stuck ups then they may scoff at this film. It counts as weird fiction, so it may not be for everyone. While it’s not necessarily an action-comedy movie per se, someone does get mauled by a bear.
Scary Movie Series
Some people absolutely hate this franchise with every fiber of their being. Those people are boring. The first Scary Movie was lampooning horror movies that had come before it—things like Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer. Scary Movie 2 took the haunted house route, remixing old movies about ghosts. Scary Movie 3 has, quite possibly, one of the funniest slapstick scenes, ever: a shovel that the character Mahalik cocks like a pump-action shotgun.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
The Pythons made this film in the 1970s and it still has a grip on popular culture. Of all of the action-comedy movies on this list, this is the most infamous of the stay-up-until-2am films. It is the biggest cult classic of this collection of funny masterpieces.
Shaun of the Dead
Another one of Edgar Wright’s action-comedy movies. The opening scene is a long-take shot. It’s a hilarious take on the zombie genre. The physical humor is palpable and draws the viewer in. This is one of the best films on the list to watch with others. They’re also British. Accents normally accentuate humor for no particular reason.
Beverly Hills Ninja
This film stars the late Chris Farley. Pick a film Farley stars in and it could go on this list. One that comes to mind is in the movie Almost Heroes, where he is repeatedly attacked by an eagle. The reason Beverly Hills Ninja is on this list is that it has more physical humor.
Another Edgar Wright film that’s hilarious. These types of action comedy movies fall under slapstick. Some of the gags are entirely physical: scene exits, handing items, the light from someone’s braces temporarily blinding someone, etc. It even has a scene where one of the protagonists pretends to stab his eye out for no reason, using only a fork and a ketchup packet.
This film produces quickfire laughs from misdirects and physical gags. This is the era of Rita Rudner and Steven Wright, where one-liners reigned supreme. A study concluded that Airplane! is the funniest film of all time (laughs/minute). Leslie Nielson sadly passed away, but you can watch his amazing films at any time of the day.
The Naked Gun Trilogy
- The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!
- The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear
- Naked Gun 33 1⁄3: The Final Insult
The tiny quips, inuendos, funny analogies, slapstick gags, and misdirects make these action comedy movies amazing. O.J. Simpson stars in these films, so that part of it may not have aged well.
The best part about these films is the character Frank Drebin, oblivious and invulnerable (as every slapstick hero should be).
Spy Hard is one of those films that sticks in your mind and won’t get unstuck. It has so many funny elements to it. It’s lampooning the James Bond films, so it still holds up. “Weird Al” Yankovic was tasked with making the theme song for this movie.
Big Trouble in Little China
John Carpenter directs this loveable, martial arts, cult classic. Kurt Russell is one of my favorite actors of all time. Tango and Cash is one of my favorite, unintentionally hilarious, action comedy movies.
James Hong plays the antagonist in this film. Hong has a huge list of comedies, both TV and movies, that are on his resume.
Pick nearly any Jackie Chan film ever made, and you’ve got—at the very least—a good action-comedy movie. Chan makes stupendously hilarious films. He has participated in a ton of films. Chan funnily fights and gets absolutely hammered on industrial-grade alcohol.
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil
The death scenes in this film are hilarious. You have two guys minding their own business, just trying to find a nice place to vacation, when these college-aged adults come by. The film finds its humor in misinterpretation. It parodies the preconceptions we the audience have concerning horror films. Normally, two creepy-looking guys in the woods are the murderers.
Balls of Fury
One of the funniest scenes is when Randy Daytona (Dan Fogler) continually hits Maggie Wong (Maggie Q) with a ping pong ball in the attempt to save her life.
Christopher Walken inherently sounds funny, as can be attested by Dave Grohl describing the SNL prank he played on Walken.
James Hong is also hilarious in this movie.