46 voters

14 Guilty Pleasure Action Movies That Get A Lot Better If You Don't Take Them Seriously

June 14, 2021 308 votes 46 voters 1.9k views14 items

List RulesVote up the action movies that get a lot better if you watch them like a comedy.

Guilty pleasure action movies are a lot of fun to watch, but viewers may not enjoy admitting to their coworkers that they watched them at work the next day. These are lowbrow films with ridiculous high concepts that may not make a lot of sense, but they do feature some pretty cool explosions. And, honestly, that counts for something. 

Sometimes, a bad movie is so bad that it's actually kind of good. Other times, a movie with no plot to speak of has a really talented stunt crew and graphics effects artists working behind the scenes. A movie doesn't have to be an Oscar-winner to be an enjoyable way to spend an hour or two. Scorsese may call these movies "rollercoaster films" - but honestly, what's wrong with being on a rollercoaster? 

  • In Demolition Man, Wesley Snipes plays a psychotic crook named Simon Phoenix who is captured by a foolhardy cop named John Spartan, played by the always watchable Sylvester Stallone. The transgressions of Snipes's character, and the unsavory methods of capturing him by Stallone's character, lead both participants to prison, where they are cryogenically frozen. Then, in an idyllic future without crime, Phoenix is woken up and unleashed upon the populace, causing the authorities to free Spartan in order to capture him once again. 

    The premise is a bit silly, but it's also fairly intriguing - and how can a film get more enjoyable than a movie pitting Stallone against Snipes? It's the type of big, silly action movie that doesn't seem to be made anymore, but audiences should consider themselves lucky that there was a time when such a film was green-lit. In its review, The Austin Chronicle said, "If you don't really think about it, it isn't a bad ride." 

    Better as a comedy?

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  • Con Air has such a brilliant and simple premise, it's a wonder anyone ever thought of it at all. In the film, a group of inmates being transferred to a new prison facility by plane decide to hijack the craft. Also on the aircraft is the recently paroled Cameron Poe, played by Nicholas Cage, who just wants to get home to see his family. 

    A reviewer for Newsweek described the highlights of the film as being "Dozens of seat-shaking explosions, a crash landing on the Vegas strip... one bloody impalement and a motorcycle-and-firetruck chase." Con Air has a lot going for it. It's big, dumb, stars Nicholas Cage, and has a pretty interesting premise. 

    Better as a comedy?

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  • Stephen King is best known for his fear-inducing prose, but in 1986, the famed horror novelist directed a movie. It seems as if only famous hands were involved in this project, as the soundtrack of the film was composed entirely by AC/DC. The story is just as worthy of discussion as its famous creators, too, seeing as it revolves around inanimate objects across the world coming to life and going after humans. If it's not already clear, this is a movie worth seeing. 

    Maximum Overdrive is packed full of inventive, silly weirdness. It has everything from a bank sign cursing out its customers, to trucks demolishing a town, to a vending machine that ejects cans of soda with such force, they terminate a man and chase off a pack of little leaguers. 

    It's easy to go out and see a better movie than Maximum Overdrive, but it's very hard to find a weirder one. 

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  • Cinema was invented so that filmmakers across the world could create Godzilla movies. Conversations, fights, lovers quarrels, war - all of these things can be had in real life. What can't be had in real life is a giant lizard bombarding the citizens of Manhattan, and films depicting this should be respected by all and held in the highest regards. 

    1998's Godzilla may not be the best of the franchise, but it does feature Matthew Broderick going up against a pregnant Godzilla and her offspring. To rephrase that, this movie has baby Godzillas fighting Ferris Bueller. It's worth a watch. 

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