There are thousands of action movies out there. Hollywood really loves pumping out several of them every year, some being better than others. The most difficult part about creating an action film is that there needs to be something that sets it apart from the others. so that it doesn’t get lost in the endless sea of action movies.
One thing that many filmmakers have attempted is to try and make their movie intentionally absurd, silly, or unrealistic. Movies like this may not technically be classified as comedies, but there is certainly an air about them that lets its viewer know that the creators knew exactly what they were doing with it.
‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ (2022)
Everything Everywhere All At Once is so nuts because it seems to just throw everything and the kitchen sink at the viewer. It certainly does live up to its title. Initially starting as a drama following an aging Chinese immigrant who just wants to pay off her taxes, the movie unexpectedly launches into the multi-verse, which is when it begins to play out like an acid trip.
It does have its fair share of comedy, but its wackiness is where most of the comedy comes from. There’s also something about seeing a petite middle-aged woman doing kung fu and fighting off interdimensional beings that makes it amazing, and definitely worth a watch.
‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ (2014)
Playing upon every trope that can be found in the common spy movie, Kingsman: The Secret Service follows the journey of a young delinquent named Eggsy (Taron Egerton) as he steps into his deceased father’s shoes as a member of the secret spec ops force known as the Kingsmen.
With everything from a cowardly villain to physically impossible fights, Kingsman: The Secret Service is a must-see for any spy movie fan. It even spawned two sequels: Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017) and The King’s Man (2021)
‘Hardcore Henry’ (2015)
Hardcore Henry is a bit of a gimmicky film, in that it’s the first major feature film to be shot entirely from a first-person perspective. The film follows the journey of Henry (Ilya Naishuller), a cyborg clone as he attempts to save his wife from a warlord hellbent on world domination.
Shot entirely from Henry’s perspective, the action is over-the-top, unrealistic, and downright absurd, but that’s what makes it such an incredible watch. Sharlto Copley provides comic relief as Henry’s friend, Jimmy, in between all the gunfire, explosions, and intentional clichés.
With a name as silly as Sharknado, there was never any room for this Syfy movie to be taken seriously. Playing on the common tropes of disaster action films, Sharknado centres around an abnormal hurricane which lifts sharks out of the ocean and begins swirling them around in tornadoes. Just in case tornadoes weren’t dangerous enough in and of themselves.
With overacting and terrible physics abound, the movie is a remarkably enjoyable watch for a direct-to-televison film, so enjoyable in fact, that it spawned not one, not two, but five sequels, each one more absurd than the last.
‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ (2014)
Guardians of the Galaxy was the first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that injected some real comedy into the franchise. Sure, the other movies had the occasional joke here or there, but Guardians of the Galaxy really goes the extra mile.
The film stars Chris Pratt, who is an absolute riot on his own, along with a crew full of aliens, including a talking tree alien and a talking space raccoon. The movie doesn’t want to be taken seriously, and it lets its audience know that right from the get-go. Though it isn’t technically a comedy movie, it’s still completely self-aware of how ridiculous it is.
‘Batman Forever’ (1995)
Jim Carrey is not a very serious actor. Sure, he’s been in a few roles where he isn’t characteristically all over the place, but those are far less common than his zanier, more well-known roles. This is the case with Carrey’s incarnation of The Riddler in Batman Forever.
The sequel to Tim Burton‘s Batman Returns (1992), Batman Forever goes from Burton’s creepiness to full-on craziness. Jim Carrey really hams his role up, and becomes a highlight of the film. Apart from that, the premise, along with the action itself, is absolutely wild. With bright colours and outrageous villains, the movie is a living testament to the Silver Age of comic books.
Kick-Ass was directed by Matthew Vaughn, the same director who oversaw Kingsman: The Secret Service. In much the same spirit as the latter, Kick-Ass preys upon several tropes of superhero movies, and wastes no time playing them up to astronomical levels.
The movie follows a teenaged comic book fan who one day decides to become a superhero, despite the fact that he has no professional training, no superpowers, and no real reason to be one. It throws its fair share of dark jokes towards the viewer, but of course, its action is another area where it shines, and even this is hammed up to the max.
Director John Woo is known for making over-the-top action flicks, and Face/Off is no exception. The film stars two of Hollywood’s most outrageous actors, Nicolas Cage and John Travolta. Travolta plays Sean Archer, an FBI Special Agent, who has a vendetta against Cage’s character, Caster Troy, after the latter kills the former’s son. In order to gain access to Troy’s inner circle, Archer receives a face transplant to look like Troy. Troy then wakes up and discovers his face is missing, and in turn, takes on the appearance of Archer.
It’s a silly plot, to be sure, and the movie reciprocates that with its action sequences and dialogue. This was the first major film where Woo was given complete control over, which gave audiences a taste of what they were in for with his films. And boy, did he not disappoint.
‘Mission: Impossible II’ (2000)
John Woo strikes again in a highly underrated and unique entry in the Mission: Impossible film franchise. With explosions that seemingly come from nowhere, unnecessary acrobatics, and in-your-face dialogue, this movie knows exactly what it is.
Other Mission: Impossible films can be a little more serious or gritty, making this one an oddity, which is likely why it is considered lower quality. Regardless, Tom Cruise, as always, delivers, and though it may be the worst Mission: Impossible movie, it’s definitely the funniest.
Deadpool as a character was written as a satire of other superheroes, and was hardly ever a serious character. He constantly breaks the fourth wall, makes wisecracks, and does things just for the sake of doing them. In the 2016 movie, the titular character is played by the hilarious Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds, who was most definitely born for the role.
Aside from Deadpool’s self-awareness that he is a fictional character, the movie is also, in turn, self-aware that it is ridiculous. But it simply wouldn’t work any other way
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