In The Paper Tigers, three washed up middle-aged min try to go back to their martial arts roots. Why? To avenge the death of their master, who has been mysteriously murdered. The Paper Tigers is thoroughly enjoyable because it combines good martial arts with great comedy. These movies are a rare breed. We’ve picked out 6 great movies like The Paper Tigers for you. Any one of these will make an entertaining watch.
6 Funny Martial Arts Movies like The Paper Tigers
1 Here Comes the Boom (2012)
IMDB 6.4 | 85K+ Ratings
Starring: Kevin James, Salma Hayek, Henry Winkler, Joe Rogan (Guest Appearance)
Ok, so Here Comes the Boom is about MMA (mixed martial arts). But, that doesn’t make the money any less funnier. The hilarious Kevin James is Scott Voss, a biology teacher in a high school. The school he teaches at is in serious financial trouble. The first thing being cut is the school’s music program, taught by the very passionate Marty Streb (Henry Winkler).
Scott asks the corrupt school principal to give him some time to raise the $50k that is needed to keep the music program running. But, Scott soon realizes that raising $50k isn’t a joke. His solution? To start fighting for prize money, after he learns that fighters can earn as much as $10,000 for showing up. With just a little background in high school wrestling, Scott fumbles and falls his way through small fights. The way he trains and fights his first few fights is quite hilarious. His friend Marty is part of his posse that also includes a retired MMA fighting champion who decides to coach Scott in lieu of English lessons to pass his citizenship test.
The movie is full of funny scenarios. Salma Hayek plays Scott’s hard to get love interest, as another teacher in his school. Joe Rogan makes a guest appearance.
It all boils down to one final fight, where he has to take on an in-form UFC fighter. It’s win it big or go home!
2 Beverly Hills Ninja (1997)
IMDB 5.5 | 39K+ Ratings
Starring: Chris Farley, Nicollette Sheridan, Robin Shou
A clan of Ninja Warriors adopt a baby separated from its family, after a shipwreck. All grown up, the baby, Haru (Chris Farley), is no ninja warrior. In fact, he is far from it. He’s big, clumsy and bumbling his way around. But, he’s got the heart of a ninja warrior.
Beverly Hills Ninja is about Haru and his half-brother, a proper Ninja, trying to rescue a woman. Just like how the three middle aged men find their feet again with martial arts, Haru comically persists at Kung Fu to come out as a winner in the end, even if it is just by sheer luck.
The acting is a bit over the top here and there but it’s very deliberate. This is just a fun martial arts movie to watch if you want great laughs. Robin Shou plays Gobei, the half-brother with actual martial arts skills while Nicollette Sheridan plays the damsel in distress.
3 Kung Fu Panda (2008)
IMDB 7.5 | 425K+ Ratings
Starring (Voice): Jack Black, Ian McShane, Angelina Jolie
Kung Fu Panda is perhaps the funniest martial arts movie ever made to date. An animated film, it has very funny characters with voices lent by actors such as Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Dustin Hoffman, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu and many more.
China’s fate hangs in the balance. Who can save it from an evil force? It’s a clan called the Furious Five; a monkey, crane, viper, tiger and a Mantis, all mentored by Shifu (Dustin Hoffman). But, there’s a missing piece. By accident, the powers of the ‘chosen one’ were bestowed upon a fat panda named Po (Jack Black). The Kung Fu clan must help Po find it in him to discover his Kung Fu Magic, so they can defeat the evil forces.
The movie is hilarious from start to finish. Po’s slacker attitude and his rotund body give rise to several hilarious scenarios that will have you in splits.
If you like Kung Fu Panda, which we just don’t think you can’t like, you have two very good sequels to watch, back to back. That will keep you busy for a while, as movies after The Paper Tigers.
4 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)
IMDB 6.8 | 85K+ Ratings
Starring: Judith Hoag, Elias Koteas, Josh Pais
Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo and Raphael are, well you guessed it, the teenage mutant ninja turtles. They have exceptional martial arts skills. They live under the sewers of New York City, under the watchful eye of their Sensei Splinter, a mutant rat.
Each turtle has a very different personality. One is a logical leader, one is free spirited, one is a scientist and one is an anti-hero. But, together, they are an unstoppable force. Their mission. To protect NYC against a group of evil Ninjas with devious plans.
The movie is a very entertaining watch with plenty of fantastic martial arts. There’s a great sequel of the movie made as well, one that came out in 2014, starring Megan Fox. So, you have not one but two versions to pick from, or just watch them both, which is what we think you will end up doing!
5 Drunken Master (1978)
IMDB 7.5 | 37K+ Ratings
Starring: Jackie Chan, Siu-Tin Yuen, Jang-Lee Hwang
Jackie Chan is a mischievous young man who is constantly getting himself into trouble. His father tries to enlist him under the training of a drunken martial arts master named Beggar So. But, peeved by the Drunken Master’s rigorous training methods, Wong (Jackie Chan) keeps running away. However, when he is humiliated in a fight, he crawls back to the Drunken Master to learn skills with which he can redeem his martial arts honor.
But, the sensei student relationship is anything but smooth. It’s just Asian martial arts comedy at its best. This was a movie made when Jackie Chan was at his Kung Fu prime. So, in between all the bad dubbing and cheesy jokes that make an Asian martial arts movie great, there’s phenomenal martial arts as well.
6 Shaolin Soccer (2001)
IMDB 7.3 | 75K+ Ratings
Starring: Stephen Chow, Wei Zhao, Yat-Fei Wong
Stephen Chow is Mighty Steel Leg Sing. If that name doesn’t crack you up, every minute of the movie will. Mighty is a Shaolin martial arts warrior who hasn’t practiced his art in ages. But, he must get his band of Shaolin brothers together if he wants to have any chance of beating another team at soccer.
The plan is to put their rusty Kung Fu skills to good use while playing soccer. The problem is that that the other team is just as equipped with hybrid soccer and martial arts skills. What follows is hilarious training, drills and then of course the big game where two teams have at it.
The martial arts is generously aided by special effects and tricks but no effort is made to hide it. It is a martial arts parody movie after all. The camaraderie is entertaining. It’s all a a bit over the top but of course very deliberate.
So, did you like our list of movies like The Paper Tigers? Have more suggestions? Please share your thoughts through the comment box below. We will only be happy to throw out your suggestions to readers who need as many movies similar to The Paper Tigers as they can get!