10 best action comedies of the 2000s | Pretty Reel

Based on the recent box office success of Bullet Train and the buzz surrounding the news that Hugh Jackman will be reprising his role as Wolverine alongside Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool 3, it’s clear that action comedies will always be a huge appeal to moviegoers. Combining the explosive thrills of action movies and the hilarious gags of comedy movies, action comedies can be some of the most entertaining films.

The 2000s brought some of the greatest action comedies ever made, from Hot Fuzz and Tropic Thunder to Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Team America: World Police.

Bad Boys II (2003)

Detective Marcus Burnett and Mike Lowrey returned to the screens for an even more explosive, even more outrageous outing in Bad Boys II. Amid the flurry of biting banter, furious gunfights, and wacky vehicular mayhem, Bad Boys II tells the story of ride-or-die BFFs who team up to take on drug dealers 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 bloated budget to unleash Bayhem even more on audiences.

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 stunt. The catch is that these two fugitives are stoned all the time.

Every action scene in Pineapple Express has a comedic twist, like a chase between two police cars with one foot stuck in one of the windshields.

Black Dynamite (2009)

Scott Sanders’ 70s satire Black Dynamite is both a searing parody and a loving homage to the blaxploitation genre. Michael Jai White stars as the titular Vietnam War veteran and former CIA officer, who vows to rid the streets of gangs and drug dealers after the murder of his younger brother.

Black Dynamite’s beautifully absurd narrative becomes more and more ridiculous as the film progresses; 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 Johnny English’s titular bumbling spy is a close third. From shootouts to car chases, the action in Johnny English is heart-pounding, but there’s always a comedic twist.

Whether he’s tap-dancing on a coffin, lip-synching with ABBA in front of the world, or infiltrating a hospital he’s mistaken for the villain’s headquarters, the best efforts of spying always blows up in his face.

Kung Fu Hustle (2004)

Stephen Chow directed, produced, co-wrote and starred in Kung Fu Hustle, an outlandish 1940s action-comedy about an aspiring gangster in a village overrun with violence and intimidation. This delightfully ridiculous movie plays like a live-action cartoon.

Yuen Woo-ping’s mesmerizing martial arts choreography strikes the perfect balance between action-packed thrills and slapstick hilarity.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

Shane Black, one of Hollywood’s most acclaimed action writers 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 a private detective who enlists 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 worn film noir trope – starting with its self-aware voice-over narration.

Thunder in the Tropics (2008)

Ben Stiller satirized everything from war movie conventions to the fakeness and sentimentality of Hollywood movie stars with his incisive action comedy Tropic Thunder. The film revolves around a cast of actors who unwittingly find themselves in the middle of a real war zone while working on a Vietnam War film.

This movie has both a huge explosion that totals a jungle and a crass Tom Cruise playing a bald, angry studio executive with giant prosthetic hands.

The Incredibles (2004)

Pixar picked up the comic book story in The Incredibles, the story of a family of superhumans trying to hide their abilities in a world where superheroes have been banned. With its satirical deconstruction of superhero mythos, The Incredibles is essentially Watchmen for kids.

Writer-director Brad Bird strikes the perfect balance between explosive comic book action like battling a robot in the jungle and relatable family situations like bickering about freeway traffic.

Team America: World Police (2004)

Trey Parker and Matt Stone brought their unique brand of dark humor to the big screen in Team America: World Police. This searing political comedy tells the story of a Broadway actor recruited by an American counterterrorism team to foil a nefarious North Korean plot.

The film ingeniously uses Thunderbirds-style puppets to satirize both American foreign policy and the tropes and conventions of Michael Bay’s action films.

Hot Fuzz (2007)

Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost followed up their acclaimed zombie satire Shaun of the Dead with a spoof of another genre cinema staple: the ‘buddy cop’ formula. Hot Fuzz revolves around the mismatched pairing of a 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 present the perfect blend of visceral action and hilarious comedy; sometimes the two meet, as in the shortest car chase in movie history.

10 best action comedies of the 2000s | Pretty Reel