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There is probably no actor which capitalized on the superhero fever the movie-going world caught than Chris Evans. The Boston-born actor was in nine Marvel movies, first, he did two Fantastic Four movies as Johnny Storm, before Michael B. Jordan replaced him with the same success, then Chris became Captain America and that role completely defined his young career. But there are Chris Evans movies which are not set in the Marvel universe, even though it might seem unlikely at first, and some of them are actually good.
While rom-coms are Chris’s second go-to type of movies, he also made some very interesting movie picks, a few of them being real “guy films”.
A movie with this premise shouldn’t work so well, but it did and did so because the roles were perfectly cast, obviously including Evans. A woman gets kidnapped, her captor locks her in a room and breaks the phone in it, but she manages to pull some pieces of it and make the only call she can – to unsuspecting young man Ryan, played by Chris. Ryan goes off his breezy day to save the woman (Kim Basinger) becoming the unlikeliest of action heroes in a high paced, realistic chase-with-time thriller. Jason Statham and William H. Macy do their roles fittingly, making for a compact whole movie that is well worth your time. All the other Chris Evans movies stand on its shoulder as it is here where he showed that he can carry a film commercially.
The best and definitely the most original movie Chris Evans has ever done, with all respect to the success of Avengers movie, they can’t compare to the depth and the authenticity of this underwatched instant sci-fi classic. Joon-ho Bong did wonders with the movie based on a French graphic novel Le Transperceneige, which has a very weird premise. Evans plays a passenger on a globe-traveling train which holds all the surviving creatures on the planet after climate-change experiments froze Earth completely. A really brutal film is a great analogy for the world we live in and it also delivers on some of the best action scenes we had the opportunity to see in recent years.
The combo of director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire) and writer Alex Garland (Ex Machina, 28 Days Later) was really promising, especially powered by a young promising cast of Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne, and of course Evans. While Sunshine isn’t the best space sci-fi film out there, it’s a really interesting take on the genre, adding other types of story into it. With the stakes being the highest possible, as the crew of astronauts is on a mission to reignite the sun, the plot takes unexpected turns making the movie a training ground for actors. Even though the movie was made for around $25 million, it has breathtaking visuals, shot in a pretty uncommon, rare way. One of few Chris Evans movies that has a cult following.
Image: Samuel Goldwyn Films
A pretty realistic look at hard break-ups and a movie that stands on the strength of the dialogue and performances, London is a pretty good under the radar film. It tackles some guy problems we all can relate to even if we (hopefully) haven’t experienced them. Evans plays a shattered young man after a break-up, crashing his ex-girlfriend’s (Jessica Biel) going away party with a total stranger he met buying drugs. The man is played by Jason Statham and the exchange between these two are what makes the movie, since it’s almost entirely played out in the bathroom with cocaine being sniffed a lot. Like a lot a lot. The movie also features a pretty freakish thing – Jason Statham with hair. One of the lesser-known Chris Evans movies.
Not Another Teen Movie (2001)
Teen romantic comedies reached the tipping point of the craze at the break of the century, with almost every high school in America getting a movie made in it, but it was also a time of parody movies. While nobody is going to list Not Another Teen Movie on his list of top 10 comedies, it is one of those flicks which you’ll always watch when it’s on TV. It will deliver on the laughing part, and while everything is gimmicky, it’s perhaps even a better real movie than the ones it is spoofing. Evans nails the role of the popular jock, on his stereotypical route to getting the girl and growing as a person. With some sex jokes in between. It’s nice to see what arch have Chris Evans movies made, from this to the Icepiercer.
Honorable mention for best Chris Evans movies has to go to the terrifically original Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010), surely one of the best comedies of the century, in which Evans has a minor, but a vivid supporting role.
What are some of your favorite Chris Evans movies outside the Marvel universe?