‘Die Hard’ And 9 Other Great Movies Where Comedians Became Action Stars

The action genre was once exclusively for those who are incredibly ripped, chosen not for their acting ability but for their ability to look like a badass. While some of the action stars of the past (your Schwarzeneggers, Van Dammes, Stallones, etc.) arguably lack range, they’ve made up for it by looking like the fantasy heroes that adorn the covers of comic books and movie covers. 1980s albums.

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The past few decades have pivoted towards more grounded action stars, even if they still represent literal superheroes. Even before wonder, comedy had found its way into the action genre, often complimenting the violence with a few laughs. Studio executives have found the best way to do this is to cast real comedy actors in action star roles, creating heroes who possess natural charisma yet are believable enough to save the day. .

Bruce Willis – ‘Die Hard’ (1988)

Image via 20th Century Fox

One of the greatest Christmas movies of all time, die hard sees Bruce Willis cementing himself in the action hall of fame as policeman John McClane. When international terrorists take over the skyscraper his wife is staying in, McClane is forced to single-handedly defeat the criminals, rescue the hostages, and save the day.

Although it’s hard to imagine now, Willis was once not an action star and was deemed unsuitable for the role of McClane. Willis was known at the time as the star of Illegal work, a hit comedy series. Despite early hesitation, everyone’s character of Willis is die hardis its greatest strength, because it makes McClane believable.

die hard is available to stream on Starz.

Paul Rudd – ‘Ant-Man’ (2015)

Even for the mcu, The ant Man seemed ridiculous. When he was recently released, convict Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) breaks into the house of scientist Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), he discovers a great costume instead of a treasure. Using the suit to shrink and grow, Lang becomes Ant-Man, a fighter for justice, and ultimately an Avenger.

Previously known for his roles in Presenter and clueless, Rudd has always given plenty of great performances. His effortless charisma is what makes him such a charming leading man, as Lang consistently remains a grounded presence among the cast of larger-than-life super soldiers, tech billionaires, and literal gods.

The ant Man is available to stream on Disney+.

Bob Odenkirk – “Nobody” (2021)

Running with the concept of “what if John Wick was a suburban dad,” Person follows former government assassin Hutch Mansell (Bob Odenkerk). After a home invasion awakens his killer instincts, Hutch finds himself in a battle with the Russian mob as he fights to protect his family from their past.

While Odenkirk is best known to modern audiences through his work in breaking Bad and You better call Saul, he first found fame as a comedian. In Personhe ditches his shrewd Saul Goodman persona to instead portray a downcast father, making his transformation into a killing machine all the more effective.

Person is available to stream on HBO Max.

Eddie Murphy – ’48 Hours.’ (1982)

Next to lethal weapon, 48 hours. is one of the founders of the buddy-cop genre. When a convicted cop killer escapes from police custody and goes on the run, veteran officer Jack Cates (Nick Nolte) is forced to work with the killer’s imprisoned partner, Reggie Hammond (Eddie Murphy) to find it.

While Beverly Hills Cop is Murphy’s most popular action film, 48 hours. predates it by two years and is also Murphy’s first film. The comedian’s effortless charm helps audiences quickly warm to Reggie despite his criminal background, and it’s also enough to win over gruff Cates as the two sparring partners eventually bond.

48 hours. is available to stream on Paramount+.

Owen Wilson – “Behind Enemy Lines” (2001)

When United States Air Force pilot Chris Burnett (Owen Wilson) is shot down over Bosnia, he soon discovers evidence that genocide has been committed in the country. As officials attempt to track him down, Burnett attempts to flee to friendly territory as Admiral Reigart (Hackman Gene) offers support from the ground up.

Released the same year as Zoolander, Behind enemy lines features Wilson’s lineup as he plays against type as a runaway soldier. As he played with Jackie Chan in Shanghai noon a year prior, he was the comic relief of this film. Behind enemy lines sees him play the part directly, without a single “wow” in sight.

Chris Rock – “Bad Company” (2002)

When his twin brother, a CIA agent, is killed in action, prostitute Jake Hayes (Chris Rock) is forced to impersonate himself as part of a mission to prevent a terrorist attack. In partnership with veteran agent Oakes (Anthony Hopkins), Hayes is probationed in the CIA’s training program before being released into the field.

Rock was best known at the time for his stand-up and supporting roles in comedies, so bad company marked his first time as a leading man in an action movie. While the movie itself is nothing remarkable and pales in comparison to other buddy movies, it’s worth watching just to see the absurd pairing of Rock and Hopkins.

Chris Tucker – “Rush Hour” (1998)

Picture via New Line Cinema

One of the best adopts the buddy-cop formula, Peak hour sees the martial arts superstar Jackie Chan paired with comedian chris tucker. After a Chinese diplomat’s daughter is kidnapped in America, Hong Kong Inspector Lee (Chan) is forced to work with LAPD Detective Carter (Tucker) to find the missing child.

Peak hour marked the first time Tucker received equal billing in a film, as he was previously known for his supporting roles where he provided comic relief. The film also works well because of the dynamic that develops between Carter and Lee, with their blossoming friendship forming the heart of the story.

Peak hour is available to stream on Netflix and HBO Max.

Ryan Reynolds – ‘Blade: Trinity’ (2004)

The third film in Marvel’s Best Pre-MCU Movie Series, Blade Trinity sees Wesley Snipes back as the titular vampire hunter, this time paired with a new breed of killers that includes Hannibal King (Ryan Reynolds). When Dracula is resurrected, the loner Blade is forced to rely on his new companions to hunt him down.

While he is best known for playing the superhero dead Pool today, Reynolds was once known only as a comedy star. First success thanks to the sitcom Two guys, a girl and a pizzeriaReynolds’ big break came at the head of DeWilder. Her charming lead performance paved the way for her role in Blade Trinitywhere he was forced to get back into shape, which of course led to more action roles.

Blade Trinity is available to stream on Hulu.

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence – “Bad Boys” (1995)

One of the most popular action movies of the 90s, Bad Boys stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence as police officers and best friends. When they learn that a massive drug deal is about to unfold in Miami, the partners take to the streets in a film filled with shootings and explosions in a way that never Michael Bay can do.

Both Smith and Lawrence were sitcom stars at the time, known for The prince of Bel-Air and Martin respectively. Bad Boys plays on their comedic characters and natural chemistry to create an enjoyable action blockbuster that paved the way for Smith to become a leading man in the genre.

Chris Pratt – “Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014)

One of the best MCU movies, guardians of the galaxy follows a ragtag group of mercenaries as they travel through space together, taking any gig they can find while helping save the universe. They are led by Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), aka Star-Lord, a demi-human who finally finds his place among the crew.

Another actor who began his career with supporting roles in comedies, Pratt first rose to fame playing Andy Dwyer in Parks and recreation. One of the stars of that show, Pratt quickly picked up some volume and found leading man roles in the action genre, eventually leading to the revival of jurassic park in jurassic world.

guardians of the galaxy is available to stream on Disney+.

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