Chris Evans is probably best-known for playing Johnny Storm in the “Fantastic Four” movies — and he’s about to become even better known now that he’s been tapped to play the title role in “The First Avenger: Captain America.”
So if you’re not familiar with the Evans oeuvre, we thought we’d offer some highlights — and lowlights — from his career, starting with his best-known role.
“Fantastic Four” (2005) and “4: Rise of the Silver Surfer” (2007): The other Marvel franchise Evans starred in gave back some of the good will Hollywood had earned with comic-book movies like “Spider-Man” (the first two, anyway) and “Batman Begins.” The movies are a little goofy — OK, a lot goofy at times — but they do feature lots of scenes with a shirtless Evans — and judging by the number of “Chris Evans is hott!!!” videos on YouTube, people like that.
“Not Another Teen Movie” (2001): Evans’ first big role was in this sendup of “She’s All That,” “Varsity Blues,” “American Pie” and jsut about all the other teen comedies of the late ’90s. On the down side, it started a trend that has given us “Date Movie” and “Disaster Movie” — but on its own, it’s not a bad parody — and it features Evans in a whipped-cream banana hammock.
“The Perfect Score” (2004): Another high school movie, “The Perfect Score” is noted more for featuring Scarlett Johansson (and NBA player Darius Miles). The idea of combining a high-school comedy with a heist movie is a good one, but the execution wasn’t. None of the young cast — which also included Erika Christensen and Bryan Greenberg — could do a whole lot with the material.
“Cellular” (2004): A kidnapped woman (Kim Basinger) pieces together a smashed telephone and dials a number — connecting her to regular-guy Evans, who sets out to find and save her before it’s too late. Evans has his moments — like when he boosts a car from an obnoxious lawyer — but they’re not enough to patch over all the holes in a thin premise.
“London” (2005): Make no mistake, “London” is a horrible movie, but Evans isn’t bad in it as Syd, a jealous commitment-phobe who will buy his girlfriend a designer dress but can’t bring himself to say he loves her. While Jason Statham chews the scenery and Jessica Biel vapidly poses (often in a state of undress) her way through, Evans actually gives a performance. [NOTE: Clip contains profanity. May be NSFW.]
“Sunshine” (2007): Evans plays one of a crew of astronauts sent on a suicide mission to revive a dying sun. It’s a bummer of a premise, and not much better a movie. His character, Mace, is laser-focused on the mission; conflict with other crew members ensues, but it’s all in service of a bit of a dud.
“Push” (2009): All in all, a much better movie than was received by audiences. It’s easy to see how Evans thought this was a potential franchise worth signing on for. And once you get past the always scary-good Dakota Fanning, he’s more than servicable as well as a second-generation telekinetic who is being pushed around by the government to do their bidding.
(Thanks to Brill Bundy for help with this post.)
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