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Top 10 Martial Arts Comedy Movies

VO: Matt Campbell
Script written by Garett Alden These films have laughs that fly almost as fast as the fists! Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Martial Arts Comedy Movies. For this list, we're focusing on comedy movies that are centered on martial arts, and we'll be ranking our entries based on how impressive the martial arts are, and how funny the films are. A few excel at one over the other, and may appear higher based on how much they kick or bust guts! Special thanks to our user Norris Vaughn for submitting the idea on our Interactive Suggestion Tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Garett Alden

Top 10 Martial Arts Comedy Movies


These films have laughs that fly almost as fast as the fists! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 martial arts comedy movies.

For this list, we’re focusing on comedy movies that are centered on martial arts, and we’ll be ranking our entries based on how impressive the martial arts are, and how funny the films are. A few excel at one over the other, and may appear higher based on how much they kick or bust guts!

#10: “Project A” (1983)

There’s no better way to start our list than with the man who practically invented the kung fu comedy: Jackie Chan. “Project A” is pretty unique among Jackie’s work, not only because it pits him against pirates, but also for its tongue-and-cheek references to early cinema. Of particular note is the death-defying sequence where Jackie hangs from a clock-face and drops through several canopies to the ground, referencing Harold Lloyd’s silent comedy “Safety Last!” Before your time? Yeah, ours too! But that doesn’t take anything away from our enjoyment of “Project A” – and it shouldn’t for you either!

#9: “Shaolin Soccer” (2001)

If Jackie Chan is the first person you think of when it comes to martial arts comedies, then Stephen Chow is easily the second. While Jackie is all about practical, authentic stunts and choreography, Chow’s movies are usually as fantastic as possible. “Shaolin Soccer” is no exception, taking the traditional sports movie plot and spicing it up with humor, action, and even a little romance, straight out of a Japanese manga.

#8: “Beverly Hills Ninja” (1997)

It’s Chris Farley as a ninja! Oh? You want more? Okay…Farley was the king of physical comedy in the ‘90s and it doesn’t get much more physical than being the most incompetent and clumsy ninja ever. There’s just something entertaining about seeing the big guy trying, and failing, to do martial arts... though he nails the splits! Plus, how many movies have Chris Rock being catapulted from a palm tree?

#7: “Big Trouble in Little China” (1986)

When Kurt Russell’s cocky for no reason, John Wayne-drawling, tank-top sporting Jack Burton gets caught in the middle of a magical Chinese gang war, we are in for a great ride right along with him. Jack and his much more martial arts-competent friends must rescue green-eyed girls from the villainous Lo-Pan, along with lightning-throwing, self-destructing henchmen, an army of devoted followers and the Sasquatch-like Chinese Wild Man, just for good measure. Full of ‘80s cheese and high-wire fights, “Big Trouble in Little China” is truly one of a kind.

#6: “Kung Pow! Enter the Fist” (2002)

“Kung Pow” is dumb. There’s no denying it. It’s basically grown men making silly voices over footage of an old kung fu movie. That doesn’t stop it from being ridiculously funny. When tongues don’t have mouths of their own, they’re firmly in cheeks here, as director and star Steve Oedekerk’s ‘Chosen One’ battles cows, tiny nets, and the dreaded Master Pain…er…Betty. On to our next entry! But “First, a joke:

#5: “Kung Fu Panda” (2008)

DreamWorks has a knack for weaving heartfelt, relatable messages into their comedies and “Kung Fu Panda” is no exception. When viewers aren’t laughing out loud at the antics of Jack Black’s Po the panda, they’re empathizing with his big dreams and his difficulty with living up to others’ expectations of him. Like “Beverly Hills Ninja,” “Kung Fu Panda” derives a lot of its comedy from a larger hero engaging in nimble footwork, although Po manages to integrate his size into his fighting style much better. In a word: “Skadoosh!”

#4: “Rush Hour” (1998)

There’s no denying the impact that “Rush Hour” and its sequels have had on Jackie Chan’s career, as they essentially introduced him, and his mix of action and comedy, to Western audiences. They also spawned a series of similar buddy-action comedies for the Hong Kong star. He and Chris Tucker play off each other brilliantly. The contrast of a guy who’s all talk and a guy who’s all action makes for a good combo, particularly in this genre.

#3: “Black Dynamite” (2009)

Blaxploitation may not be what comes to mind first when you think of martial arts, but rest assured, our main man Black Dynamite can fight like the best of them. Lampooning everything about bad ‘70s films from the terrible actors to production errors, “Black Dynamite” has plenty of kung fu action featuring the titular hero battling against drug dealers, “The Man” and the “Fiendish Dr. Wu!”

#2: “Kung Fu Hustle” (2004)

If Stephen Chow’s earlier foray into fantastic, over-the-top kung fu hijinks broke ground, then “Kung Fu Hustle” shattered it! When a couple of wannabe gangsters try to take over a neighborhood, real gangsters catch wind and try to do the same. Unfortunately for them, the more ordinary they come on this block, the more extraordinary their powers are. With “Looney Tunes”-esque animations and distinct, hilarious characters, “Kung Fu Hustle” remains the film to beat among visual effects-heavy martial arts comedies.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- “3 Ninjas“ (1992)
- “The Foot Fist Way” (2006)
- “Kung Phooey!” (2003)
- “Shanghai Knights” (2003)
- “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka” (1988)

#1: “Drunken Master II” [aka “The Legend of Drunken Master”] (1994)

Although the original “Drunken Master” from 1978 practically invented the martial arts comedy and reinvigorated the kung fu genre in general, we had to tip our hat to the more refined and grander sequel. “The Legend of Drunken Master” might be one of Jackie Chan’s best, with its farcical plot, a memorable, high-kicking villain and crazy set pieces like the foundry fight, where Jackie’s character uses industrial grade alcohol like Popeye uses spinach: to power up, and to spit fire at the bad guys! Awesome!

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite martial arts comedy film? For more Top 10s high in kicks and laughs published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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