Action comedy

The action comedy is a genre that combines aspects of action and comedy.


Allmovie describes action comedy films as those with "fast and furious" action yet being "mostly lighthearted", rarely having death or serious injury.[1] The Script Lab wrote, "[The genre] relies on the characters to bring out the humor, while the action scenes tend to be less intense than in the traditional action movie."[2] Another form of the genre is the action comedy TV series. One of the earliest TV series was The Dukes of Hazzard (1979–1985).[3]

Action comedies often have "fish out of water" themes, for example using a starring actor's celebrity to contrast the setting, such as how comedian and actor Eddie Murphy's "streetwise, sarcastic persona clashes with conventional police procedures in the Beverly Hills Cop films" in the late twentieth century.[4]

The 1926 film The General starring Buster Keaton is considered the first action comedy film.[5] Other early forms of action comedy films were swashbuckler films from the 1930s. Allmovie wrote that its "stars combined wit and one-liners with a thrilling plot and daring stunts". In the 1980s, the genre became commonplace, and buddy cop films emerged as an extension of action comedy films such as Midnight Run (1988) and the Lethal Weapon film series.[1] Other action comedies from the decade included The Blues Brothers (1980) and the films of actor and martial artist Jackie Chan.[6]

In the 1990s, action comedy films "became more violent, with fiery deaths and emphatic shootings increasingly used as punchlines".[1] Rotten Tomatoes wrote that Rush Hour (1998) revitalized the genre's formula and that Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) was a highlight from the decade. In the first two decades of the 21st century, the films Kung Fu Hustle (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007), Tropic Thunder (2008), 21 Jump Street (2012), and Bad Boys for Life (2020) were among numerous instances of the genre.[6]

List of action comedy films
Film Year Ref.
21 Jump Street2012[6]
22 Jump Street2014[6]
48 Hrs.1982[6]
American Made2017[6]
Ant-Man and the Wasp2018[6]
Bad Boys1995[7]
Bad Boys for Life2020[6]
Big Trouble in Little China1986[6]
Big Momma's House2000[7]
Beverly Hills Cop1984[6]
Birds of Prey2020[6]
Black Dynamite2009[6]
The Blues Brothers1980[6]
Deadpool 22018[6]
Drunken Master II1994[6]
Free Guy2021[6]
Game Night2018[6]
Get Smart2008[7]
The General1926[6]
The Gentlemen2019[6]
Guardians of the Galaxy2014[6]
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 22017[6]
The Heat2013[7]
Hot Fuzz2007[6]
The Interview2014[7]
Johnny English2003[7]
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle2017[7]
Kingsman: The Secret Service2014[6]
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang2005[6]
Kung Fu Hustle2004[6]
Lethal Weapon1987[6]
Lethal Weapon 21989[6]
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels1998[6]
Men in Black1997[6]
Midnight Run1988[6]
The Nice Guys2016[6]
The Other Guys2010[6]
The Paper Tigers2020[6]
Ride Along2014[7]
Romancing the Stone1984[6]
Rumble in the Bronx1995[6]
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World2010[6]
Shanghai Noon2000[6]
Shaolin Soccer2001[6]
Shaun of the Dead2004[7]
Something Wild1986[6]
The Suicide Squad2021[6]
Team America: World Police2004[6]
Thor: Ragnarok2017[6]
Three Kings1999[6]
Tropic Thunder2008[6]

TV series


  1. Staff. "Action >> Action Comedy". Allmovie. Retrieved December 2, 2022.
  2. Buffam, Noelle (March 12, 2011). "Action". The Script Lab. Retrieved December 5, 2022.
  3. Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-1-5381-0374-6.
  4. Gallagher, Mark (2006). "Restaging Heroic Masculinity". Action Figures: Men, Action Films, and Contemporary Adventure Narratives. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 163. ISBN 978-1-4039-7723-6.
  5. St. James, Emily (December 9, 2009). "The General". The AV Club. Retrieved December 2, 2022.
  6. Vo, Alex (August 10, 2021). "The 50 Best Action-Comedy Movies, Ranked By Tomatometer". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 2, 2022.
  7. Calderon, Jenna (September 28, 2020). "The Best Action Comedy Movies of All Time". Men's Health. Retrieved December 2, 2022.
  8. Beard, Matthew (October 23, 2003). "'A-Team' is viewers' most-wanted oldie for prime-time revival". The Independent. Archived from the original on December 15, 2022. Retrieved December 15, 2022.
  9. Staff (March 14, 2010). "Action Comedy TV: Showrunner Matt Nix". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 2, 2022.
  10. Proulx, Mike; Shepatin, Stacey (2012). Social TV: How Marketers Can Reach and Engage Audiences by Connecting Television to the Web, Social Media, and Mobile. Wiley. ISBN 978-1-118-23965-0.
  11. Butler, Karen (October 10, 2022). "Season 4 of 'Doom Patrol' to premiere on Dec. 8". UPI. Retrieved December 12, 2022.
  12. "Action Comedy". Hulu. Retrieved December 2, 2022.
  13. Shachat, Sarah (March 12, 2022). "How 'Our Flag Means Death' Built a Realistic but Farcical Pirate Ship". IndieWire. Retrieved December 12, 2022.
  14. Truitt, Brian (January 13, 2022). "How HBO Max's 'Peacemaker' became a hair metal superhero spin on the ensemble comedy". USA Today. Retrieved December 12, 2022.
  15. Taylor, Larry (2018). "Nomads". John McTiernan: The Rise and Fall of an Action Movie Icon. McFarland. p. 17. ISBN 978-1-4766-3233-9.
  16. Swift, Andy (September 30, 2014). "Rush Hour TV Series In the Works for CBS from Bill Lawrence, Brett Ratner". TVLine. Retrieved December 12, 2022.
  17. Nemetz, Dave (July 30, 2020). "Teenage Bounty Hunters Trailer: High School Girls Kick Ass After Class in Netflix's Edgy Action Comedy". TVLine. Retrieved December 12, 2022.

Further reading

  • King, Cynthia M. (2009). "Comedy in Action". In Kendrick, James (ed.). A Companion to the Action Film. Wiley. pp. 140–164. ISBN 978-1-119-10076-8.

Share this article:

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Action comedy, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.