Anyone who is privy to the Marvel Cinematic Universe knows that we couldn't have asked for a better Captain America. Chris Evans embodies Steve Rogers - he's got that bravado, that stubborn will, and most importantly, Cap's humility. Is this just the natural state for Chris Evans, or is he showing off some serious acting chops?
Evans has been acting since he was a teenager, as a model in HASBRO's Mystery Date board game as well as in the television series Opposite Sex. He's been in the public eye since he was Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four, but he still does plenty of work outside of the box-office smashes that have become his 'norm'. We all know how great he is as Captain America, but what are some of his other great roles?
7. Push - Nick Gant
Back in 2009, between Evans's stints as Human Torch and Captain America, he played a very different type of superhero. In Push, people who are descended from those that the Nazis experimented on have special powers. The world-building in this movie is fantastic - we see glimpses of the different types of superpowered people, and the types are mentioned in passing, but we never get the full explanation or description of their powers. This is a great way to set up a superpowered universe - there's not too much exposition, and it keeps an air of mystery about it.
Unfortunately, however, the world-building is probably the best aspect of the film. It's incredibly slow, and the plot is full of tropes. Dakota Fanning's performance also leaves something to be desired - she's playing the standard archetype of an apathetic preteen well enough, but I've seen her act. I know she can do better than archetypes. Chris Evans, however, is on his A-Game. He plays the cocky, joking protagonist well, but he's also able to show off the character's vulnerability with a practiced ease.
6. Not Another Teen Movie - Jake Wyler
That's right. The movie with the famous Banana Split scene. Not Another Teen Movie is honestly one of my absolute favorites. An irreverent parody film in the vein of Scary Movie and Meet the Spartans, it unabashedly makes fun of all the tropes found in teen coming-of-age movies, from Pretty in Pink to 10 Things I Hate About You. Chris Evans delivers a hilarious character in the form of a dumb jock who wants to win over the "ugly" girl (this is one of the best scenes. glasses? a ponytail? god, no...) and take her to prom.
We also get to see Chris Evans nude except for some whipped cream hiding his decency and a banana up his ass, so that's always a plus.
5. Fantastic 4 - Johnny Storm
Who can forget Johnny Storm? I remember when Chris Evans was first cast as Captain America, and it seemed like everybody was pissed off. Nobody could believe that he'd been cast, or that he'd do a good job, and most of this was because Human Torch was another Marvel hero, and a totally different character. He, of course, managed to kill it as Captain America, but his performance as Johnny Storm was still fantastic.
4. Sunshine - Mace
In my opinion, Sunshine is one of the most underrated science fiction movies of all time. From the director of 28 Days Later and the more recent Ex Machina, it's a movie that fits into the genre while still challenging us to consider our own place in the world. In this nuanced and well-written film, the sun is slowly dying, and causing a solar winter on Earth, so a team of astronauts goes up into space to fire a nuke into our dying star and hopefully revive it. Chris Evans plays the ship's engineer, a level-headed man and a natural leader. Maybe this role helped Evans get ready to play Captain America.
3. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World - Lucas Lee
He was this pretty good skater, now he's this pretty good actor. In the comedy Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, the titular character, played by Michael Cera, must fight his new girlfriend's seven evil exes in order to win her heart. Based of the Bryan Lee O'Malley graphic novels, this stylized movie has become a cult classic. Chris Evans plays one of the aforementioned evil exes, a celebrity named Lucas Lee. He's quick-witted in the role, and Chris Evans does a great job of playing a character that takes himself way too seriously. Unfortunately, Lucas Lee explodes into coins only a few scenes after he appears.
2. Playing it Cool - Me
Playing it Cool is a refreshingly stereotypical romantic comedy. Recently, there have been too many movies in the genre that have tried to break the time-tested mold and failed miserably. But Playing it Cool sticks to what works - Chris Evans plays a screenwriter without a muse who doesn't believe in love. Until he meets Michelle Monaghan and falls in love against a barrage of obstacles in his way, of course. Playing it Cool was funny and sweet without trying too hard, and Chris Evans played the apathetic, sarcastic writer wonderfully.
1. Snowpiercer - Curtis
Imagine the world has essentially frozen due to a failed attempt at stopping global warming. Earth's population lives on a self-sustaining train that is constantly circling the Earth. The wealthy castes live toward the front, but the rest live at the back of the train and are treated like filthy animals. Chris Evans lead the residents of the back of the train in a revolt that's pretty ambiguous as to whether or not it ends well in Snowpiercer, which was one of my favorite recent films. This was a much darker role for Evans, and I loved every second of seeing his range unfold.