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The Best Action-Comedy According To Rotten Tomatoes

If there's a pair of cinematic genres that have a more symbiotic, peanut butter and jelly sort of relationship than action and comedy, we haven't seen it yet. And filmmakers have, in fact, endeavored to blend the genres since the early days of moving pictures when silent stars like Charlie Chaplin, Harry Lloyd, and Buster Keaton put their bodies on the line in service of delivering big laughs, and bigger thrills. The action-comedy realm has, of course, evolved greatly since the silent era. There are sub-genres now covering everything from buddy cop movies ("Hot Fuzz") to epic adventure flicks ("Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle") to superhero laughers ("Deadpool").

Martial arts films have, historically, not often endeavored to make people laugh out loud. There have obviously been some notable entries into the martial arts comedy set over the years, however, with Jackie Chan's "Supercop," and Steven Chow's "Kung Fu Hustle" (one of the best kung fu movies of all time) serving as obvious flag-bearers. Even as beloved as those films are, it seems neither holds a candle to the action-packed 2021 martial arts stunner that, according to Rotten Tomatoes scores, is the best action-comedy movie ever made.

The Paper Tigers is a modern action-comedy masterpiece

So, which film beat out action-comedy classics like "Men In Black," "48 Hours," "Midnight Run," and "Thor: Ragnarok" for the top spot on that Rotten Tomatoes list? None other than 2021's hilarious martial arts extravaganza "The Paper Tigers." Whether you've heard of the film or not, you should know that, at the time of writing, it boasts an astonishing 98% critic's rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and an equally solid 93% audience score.

If you're among those who've given over to the quick-kicking charms of "The Paper Tigers," you likely know that the film is well worthy of those impressive Rotten Tomatoes numbers. Written and directed by first-timer Quoc Bao Tran, "The Paper Tigers," is part loving homage to martial arts flicks, and part cheeky coming-of-middle-age comedy. It tells the tale of three one-time martial arts prodigies (Alain Uy, Mykel Shannon Jenkins, and Ron Yuan) whose lives have turned out middling at best, and flat-out disappointing at worst. But when their master Sifu (Roger Yuan) is murdered, the Tigers re-unite on a mission to avenge his death.

To do so, they first have to whip themselves back into shape, and bury the proverbial hatchet on a few old grudges. While "The Paper Tigers" has its fun with those narrative threads, it also delivers jaw-dropping set-pieces as strong as any the martial arts genre has seen. And if you enjoy a good laugh with your martial arts action, you need "The Paper Tigers" in your life ASAP.