“The Action comedy genre is dying day by day and we may not see many such movies in the near future” – Roger Ebert (Film Critic)
Americans have a love affair with Hollywood and we’re thrilled with intense action dramas, but there are times when we need a little humor to soften the intensity of our entertainment. Well made action comedy flicks are hard to come by. Great ones are rare, but here are a few others worthy of the list.
1. Deadpool 2 (2018)
After surviving a near-fatal bovine attack, a disfigured cafeteria chef (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Mayberry’s hottest bartender while also learning to cope with his lost sense of taste.
Searching to regain his spice for life, as well as a flux capacitor, Wade must battle ninjas, the Yakuza, and a pack of sexually aggressive canines, as he journeys around the world to discover the importance of family, friendship, and flavour – finding a new taste for adventure and earning the coveted coffee mug title of World’s Best Lover.
Review: Richard Brody
In many ways, “Deadpool 2” is an improvement on its predecessor. Like the first film in the series, it’s largely a comedy, because of the torrent of snark that the protagonist (Ryan Reynolds) spouts, onscreen and in voice-over, from beginning to end—and because much of the action, even when it deals with earnest matters, is shaped to match these antic attitudes.
The drama of “Deadpool 2” is more sharply focussed than in the earlier film. The first “Deadpool” set out the protagonist’s grim origin story. Read Full Review…
2. Ocean’s Eight (2018)
Danny Ocean’s estranged sister Debbie attempts to pull off the heist of the century at New York City’s star-studded annual Met Gala. Her first stop is to assemble the perfect all-female crew: Lou, Rose, Daphne Kluger, Nine Ball, Tammy, Amita, and Constance.
Review: Christopher Orr
“You are not doing this for me. You are not doing this for you. Somewhere out there is an 8-year-old girl dreaming of becoming a criminal. Do this for her.”
Thus does the master thief Debbie Ocean exhort her female partners in crime on the eve of their big jewellery heist in the director Gary Ross’s Ocean’s 8. Read Full Review…
3. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok, the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization, at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela.
Review: Justin Chang
From the opening scene of Thor hanging out in a subterranean cavern, blissfully unconcerned that he’s being held captive by an ancient fire demon named Surtur (picture a more eloquent Balrog), you are invited to kick off your clogs, settle in and pay as much or as little attention to the plot as you please.
One of the more disarming aspects of “Thor: Ragnarok,” at least initially, is that it treats its relatively high-stakes premise as if it were no big deal. Read Full Review…
4. Incredibles 2 (2018)
While the Parr family has accepted its collective calling as superheroes, the fact remains that their special heroism is still illegal. After they are arrested after unsuccessfully trying to stop the Underminer, their future seems bleak. Read Full Description…
Review: Richard Brody
The very premise of Brad Bird’s 2004 Pixar film, “The Incredibles,” pits “a world of born” against “a world of made,” and comes down strongly in favour of the former.
The villain of the story is Buddy Pine, a.k.a. Syndrome, a warped genius who creates a device that can rival the powers of superheroes, especially those of Mr Incredible, a.k.a. Bob Parr. Read Full Review…
5. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)
In a brand new Jumanji adventure, four high school kids discover an old video game console and are drawn into the game’s jungle setting, literally becoming the adult avatars they chose.
What they discover is that you don’t just play Jumanji – you must survive it. To beat the game and return to the real world, they’ll have to go on the most dangerous adventure of their lives, discover what Alan Parrish left 20 years ago, and change the way they think about themselves – or they’ll be stuck in the game forever, to be played by others without break.
Review: Adam Graham
“Welcome to the Jungle” concerns four high school stereotypes — a nerd, a jock, a babe, a rebel — who get sent to detention at high school. Within this “Breakfast Club” scenario, they stumble upon a video game of “Jumanji” from the mid-’90s Sega Genesis-era.
The kids get sucked into the game — hate when that happens! — where their avatars are misaligned with their personalities. Read Full Review…
6. Teen Wolf (2017)
Scott McCall was just another kid in high school. Until, one night his best friend Stiles brings him to the woods, to look for a dead body, and Scott is bitten by a werewolf. Being a werewolf came with its perks- stronger, faster, new star in the lacrosse team, popularity- but also made it hard to control his anger.
Scott has also fallen for the new girl in town, Allison, whose dad is trying to hunt and kill Scott. Scott now has to try and balance his out of control life, figure out how to control his new powers, try not to be killed by the alpha that bit him, and protect Allison- and keep her from finding out his big secret.
Is anyone else having trouble processing everything that just went down? On Teen Wolf Season 5 Episode 20, there was so much that happened.
It was kind of ridiculous, but this is also Teen Wolf, so you would think that we would be prepared for all of the insanity by now. At one point or another, everyone was either injured, dead, or presumed to be dead. It was insanity. Read Full Review…
7. Ant-Man (2015)
Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.
Review: Christy Lemire
The end of the world isn’t nigh, for once, in “Ant-Man.” Sure, there are stakes. This is a summer blockbuster, after all. It has to make us care about something of consequence. But the overwhelming, self-serious sense that we are watching something Very Important blissfully doesn’t exist in “Ant-Man.
” It’s just plain fun: light, breezy, simple and enjoyable. Aside from the original “Iron Man” from 2008, which had the benefit of Robert Downey Jr. cracking wise in the title role for the first time, this is the most purely entertaining film yet from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Read Full Review…
After Keith, Lance, Pidge, Hunk, and Shiro are sent into space in a blue lion, they find two “alteans” by the names of Allura and Coran who have been frozen in crypto-pods for ten thousand years. They then discover that they must each pilot one of the robotic lions of Voltron, and defend the universe from an alien species called the “galra”, and there evil emperor “Zarkon.”
Review: Kyle Anderson
We’ve done it! We’ve gotten all the way to the end of Voltron: Legendary Defender season 2, and by and large, it has felt like the second half of a regular 26-episode anime series, and that’s a good thing.
From picking up exactly where season 1 ended to heightening the stakes and expanding on–but not fully answering–several mysterious questions we’ve had from the start, this series continued to be one of the most densely plotted, fun, adventurous, and all-around enjoyable shows on TV, regardless of format or medium. Read Full Review…
9. Gringo (2018)
An exhilarating mix of dark comedy, white-knuckle action and dramatic intrigue, Gringo joyrides into Mexico, where mild-mannered businessman Harold Soyinka (David Oyelowo) finds himself at the mercy of his back-stabbing business colleagues back home, local drug lords and a morally conflicted black-ops mercenary.
Crossing the line from law-abiding citizen to wanted criminal, Harold battles to survive his increasingly dangerous situation in ways that raise the question: Is he out of his depth – or two steps ahead?
Review: Richard Roeper
One can understand why top-tier talents such as Charlize Theron, David Oyelowo, Joel Edgerton and Thandie Newton were attracted to the B-movie material of the down-and-dirty, cheerfully nasty, violent action comedy “Gringo.” They all had the opportunity to take on roles you might not immediately associate with their onscreen personas. Read Full Review…
10. American Made (2017)
Barry Seal was just an ordinary pilot who worked for TWA before he was recruited by the CIA in 1978. His work in South America eventually caught the eye of the Medellín Cartel, associated with Pablo Escobar, who needed a man with his skill set. Barry became a drug trafficker, gun smuggler and money launderer. Soon acquiring the title, ‘The gringo that always delivers’.
Review: Katie Walsh
As soon as the Universal logo flickers and switches to its retro ‘70s look and the disco music starts to play, jazzing up Jimmy Carter speeches and old news footage, we know what we’re in for with the cocaine-smuggling adventure “American Made.” This is a romp and a half. Maybe even three. Read Full Review…
11. Big Hero 6 (2014)
When a devastating event befalls the city of San Fransokyo and catapults Hiro into the midst of danger, he turns to Baymax and his close friend’s adrenaline junkie Go Go Tomago, neatnik Wasabi, chemistry whiz Honey Lemon and fanboy Fred. Determined to uncover the mystery, Hiro transforms his friends into a band of high-tech heroes called “Big Hero 6.”
Review: Adam Graham
Baymax is a loveable, huggable inflatable robot — who doesn’t want one of those? — and he belongs in a movie more loveable and huggable than “Big Hero 6.”
A computer-animated mash-up of Japanese and American cultures (it takes place in San Fransokyo, a dream rendering of San Francisco and Tokyo), “Big Hero 6” is a friendship tale and an action flick that winds up lost in translation. Read Full Review…
12. Central Intelligence (2016)
Calvin Joyner was voted in high school the guy most likely to succeed. 20 years later he’s an accountant. As his high school reunion approaches, he tries to make contact with his old schoolmates. And someone named Bob Stone contacts him.
He says that he was known as Robbie Weirdicht in school. Calvin remembers that he was picked on, as a matter of fact after an extremely nasty prank he left school. They agree to meet and Calvin is surprised by how much he has changed. Read Full Story…
Review: Katie Walsh
Doesn’t have much going for it beyond its leading men, the leading men just might be worth the price of admission. Read Full Review…
13. Now You See Me 2 (2016)
One year after outwitting the FBI and winning the public’s adulation with their Robin Hood-style magic spectacles, The Four Horsemen resurface for a comeback performance in hopes of exposing the unethical practices of a tech magnate.
The man behind their vanishing act is none other than Walter Mabry, a tech prodigy who threatens the Horsemen into pulling off their most impossible heist yet. Their only hope is to perform one last unprecedented stunt to clear their names and reveal the mastermind behind it all.
Review: Richard Brody
The Horsemen from the 2013 film return to right unredressed wrongs, thwart evildoers and put on a good show, but this sequel, directed by Jon M. Chu, lacks even the deftness of the average party entertainer.
Eluding an F.B.I. agent (Mark Ruffalo) on their trail, three world-class vigilante magicians (Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco, and Woody Harrelson) come out of hiding, joined by a newly arrived Horsewoman (Lizzy Caplan), in an effort to prevent the launch of a data-stealing smartphone. Read Full Review…
14. Hot Fuzz (2007)
Top London cop, PC Nicholas Angel is good. Too good. And to stop the rest of his team looking bad, he is reassigned to the quiet town of Sandford. He is paired with Danny Butterman, who endlessly questions him on the action lifestyle.
Everything seems quiet for Angel until two actors are found decapitated. It is called an accident, but Angel isn’t going to accept that, especially when more and more people turn up dead. Angel and Danny clash with everyone, whilst trying to uncover the truth behind the mystery of the apparent “accidents”.
Review: Richard Corliss
He’s the new supercop in a placid English village. But the local detectives warn Sgt. Nicholas Angel that Sandford is an arsenal waiting to explode.
Detective Andy Wainwright: You do know there are more guns in the country than there are in the city. Detective Andy Cartwright: Everyone and their mum is packin’ round here! Read Full Review…
15. Ghostbusters (1984)
Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz and Egon work at the University where they delve into the paranormal and fiddle with many unethical experiments on the students. As they are kicked out of the University do they really understand their knowledge of the paranormal and go into business for themselves. Read Full Story…
Review: Kathleen Carroll
Ghostbusters is primarily a showcase for Murray, who slinks through the movie muttering his lines in his usual cheeky fashion and getting off an occasionally hilarious crack that proves he’s thoroughly enjoying himself. Read Full Review…
16. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
Scott Pilgrim plays in a band which aspires to success. He dates Knives Chau, a high-school girl five years younger, and he hasn’t recovered from being dumped by his former girlfriend, now a success with her own band.
When Scott falls for Ramona Flowers, he has trouble breaking up with Knives and tries to romance Ramona. As if juggling two women wasn’t enough, Ramona comes with baggage: seven ex-lovers, with each of whom Scott must do battle to the death in order to win Ramona.
Review: Rafer Guzman
Based on the cult comic-book series by Bryan Lee O’Malley, “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” is speaking directly to a generation raised on video games, cell phones, rock music, television, comic books and, yes, even movies. In fact, it runs the risk of alienating everyone else – but too bad for them. It’s fresh, funny, inventive and unique. Read Full Review…
17. Ash vs Evil Dead
Thirty years after the events of Evil Dead, Ash is a loner, living a dull existence, still not able to come to grips with the events that started at the cabin. In the event of a Deadite invasion, Ash must attach his chainsaw and pick up his trusty boomstick one more time, all while finally coming to terms with his past.
Review: Ben Travers
Some heroes age, but they never get old. “Ash vs. Evil Dead” relies heavily on that very conceit, betting on the charm, skill and sheer ability of Ash — and the man who plays him — to carry a franchise that’s now 34 years old.
The odds of fans getting sick of one of the horror genre’s greatest heroes is pretty low, but the possibility can’t be discounted: After mixed success skewing toward failure with every additional picture, reviving action icons of yesteryear is a risky proposition. Read Full Review…
18. The Nice Guys (2016)
Set against the backdrop of 1977 Los Angeles, The Nice Guys opens when single father and licensed PI Holland March (Gosling) is hired to investigate the apparent suicide of famous porn star Misty Mountains. As the trail leads him to track down a girl named Amelia (Qualley), he encounters less licensed and less hands-off private eye Jackson Healey (Russell Crowe) and his brass knuckles, both hired by the young hippie. Read Full Story…
Review: David Edelstein
Twenty or 30 years ago, the multiplexes were lousy with mismatched-buddy-cop action comedies, and they’re still around — except the bickering buddy cops now have superpowers and no one ever really dies.
That’s why Shane Black’s ‘70s L.A. noir The Nice Guys feels fresh, even when it isn’t. Its loose, shambling rhythms and lack of whoosh make it seem grounded, and its A-list stars, Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling, look as if they’re having a good time. Read Full Review…
19. Despicable Me 3 (2017)
After he is fired from the Anti-Villain League for failing to take down the latest bad guy to threaten humanity, Gru finds himself in the midst of a major identity crisis.
But when a mysterious stranger shows up to inform Gru that he has a long-lost twin brother-a brother who desperately wishes to follow in his twin’s despicable footsteps-one former super-villain will rediscover just how good it feels to be bad.
Review: James Berardinelli
Despicable Me 3 is an example of how even the most promising animated franchises can hit a wall if allowed to continue too long. One can understand why Universal greenlit this film.
The previous two (or three if you count the spin-off Minions) made a ton of money. Kids and adults loved them. Financially, there’s no argument to be made against the development of this sequel. Creative well, that’s another matter. Read Full Review…
20. CHIPS (2017)
An FBI agent goes undercover in the California Highway Patrol as officer Frank “Ponch” Poncherello. Members of the CHP have been robbing cash delivery vehicles and his job is to uncover the perpetrators.
At the CHP he is partnered with a 30-something rookie, Jon Baker. Baker is a former professional motorcycle rider with a list of ailments and personal problems who is lucky to be in the CHP. They are very different people and immediately clash.
Review: Stephanie Zacharek
To call Dax Shepard’s cops-on-motorcycles comedy CHIPS a movie version of CHiPs, the TV series of the late ’70s and early ’80s, would be an error in judgment equivalent to running a red light and causing a 12-car pileup.
The names of the show’s lead characters, Jon Baker and Frank “Ponch” Poncherello (originally played by Larry Wilcox and Erik Estrada), haven’t changed, and there’s a brief cameo near the end that’s probably intended to connect the picture, however tenuously, with its roots. Read Full Review…
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