Entertainment

Chris Pratt may be the bane of your life — but moviegoers don’t agree with you

IIf Twitter is to be believed, there are few people on earth more despised than Chris Pratt. Paddle through the sea of ​​snide remarks and conflicting memes, and you might picture the 42-year-old actor as something of a modern-day Frankenstein monster. A cinematic outcast, unfit for human company or roles in the latest Jurassic World sequel. Such is the contempt shown to Pratt that filmmaker James Gunn – who directs him in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise – has been forced to address calls for his sacking head-on. In response to a fan asking Marvel to “replace” Pratt (with The incantation‘s Patrick Wilson), Gunn said, “For what? Because of your made-up, completely wrong beliefs about him? Chris Pratt would never be replaced as Star-Lord, but if he ever was, we’d all go with him.

It’s true. The idea that Pratt would be outsourced five films deep into a mega-franchise like Marvel is pretty flimsy. When actors are recast in leading roles (outside of contractual disputes), there is always a serious reason: abuse; Wrongdoing; Crime. Pratt’s worst offense is his somewhat tenuous affiliation with a church that has been criticized for its LGBT+ views – blame only by affiliation. As Adam White wrote in his recent assessment of the anti-Pratt backlash, the animosity toward the actor has “less to do with his personal life and more to do with coolness,” or Pratt’s lack of it. And that’s true: Pratt doesn’t have the critical cachet of an Oscar Isaac or Adam Driver, nor the popular adoration of a Leonardo DiCaprio or Brad Pitt. A man who shoots straight from sitcom supporting player and rom-com wingman to instant franchise figurehead doesn’t give you much of an underdog to cheer for. Nobody wants to stand up for a steroid pit bull. But the backlash against him is not only exaggerated, it’s illusory. Put down the pitchforks and the statuettes of the most hated hunk—outside the social media bubble, Pratt is not only tolerated but actively embraced by the general public.

Ever since he was made famous by the NBC sitcom Parks and RecreationPratt, who plays the absent-minded but affable Andy Dwyer, has proven to be one of Hollywood’s most bankable leads. Granted, that’s partly due to the projects he’s tied himself to. Jurassic world broke box office records in 2015 and is still the seventh-highest-grossing film of all time. He’s in the top 10 twice more: repeating his Guardian Character, Star Lord, in Avengers: Infinity War and endgame. In 2014 he voiced the leading role The Lego Movie, also a smash hit, and was in the sequel. All of these films probably fall into the too big to fail category; They would have drawn a crowd whether or not Pratt’s mug was on screen. A similar argument was made for 2014 Guardians of the Galaxy, which came at a time when Marvel was thriving as a relentless box office machine, able to churn out popular hits multiple times a year. But in reality Guardian was still a gamble – an even nerdier space opera based on a lesser-known comic, with talking raccoons and cheesy music and a whole lot of lore. It can’t really be underestimated how crucial Pratt’s goofy everyman shitick was to the film’s nearly $800 million success.

Outside of the relatively risk-free franchise space, Pratt has fared a little less well. His 2016 remake of The glory seven earned just over $162 million on a budget of $90 million (although it would probably be harsh to hold Pratt accountable for the public’s allergy to westerns). passengers, in which he played a horny spaceman who condemns Jennifer Lawrence to a lifelong interstellar codependency, received mediocre reviews and was branded a flop, despite earning more than double its budget at $303 million. But there were mitigating circumstances here, too. passengers competed head-to-head with another space-themed publication at the time, the billion-dollar behemoth Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. In truth, Pratt’s only big flops have come during the Covid era: Pixars Continue and expensive last year The Morning Warwhich still garnered enough streaming views for Amazon to green-light a sequel.

Maybe Pratt isn’t the secret ingredient to all his blockbuster hits, but he’s still part of the stew — even his critics seem ready to take him down and come back for seconds. If people really hated him, I’m sure they have a funny way of showing it. As long as people show up for his films, he will make them. With someone else Jurassic world Sequel, two more Marvel entries and a Super Mario adaptation on the horizon, it’s hard to see an end in sight. For better or for worse, Chris Pratt is one of our biggest movie stars. Maybe not the A-lister we want, but the A-lister we deserve. His critics need to make peace with that – or start putting their money where their tweets are.

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/features/chris-pratt-guardians-of-the-galaxy-b2068200.html Chris Pratt may be the bane of your life — but moviegoers don’t agree with you

JOE HERNANDEZ

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