As superhero movies have become a larger and larger part of our popular culture, a question has vexed fans and scholars alike. Which of the cinematic superhero Chrises is the greatest Chris of all?? Now, three incredible blogs and four intrepid bloggers have banded together to try and definitively answer this daunting question. Nancy and Kathleen of Graphic Novelty2, Kalie of Just Dread-full, and yours truly are going to get to the bottom of this. So fasten your seatbelts as we spend the next few days exploring all things Chris…although, sadly for my collaborators, I don’t know if we’ll need more than one post. Because I’ve solved it. It’s Chris Pratt for the win – easy. No contest. Game. Set. Match. Now here’s why.
Let’s get this out of the way first. The man is gorgeous. I’ve been hardcore man-crushing on Chris Pratt since his days as Andy on Parks and Recreation. Those eyes! That smile! His sense of humor! Sure, Chris Evans can hold a helicopter in place and Chris Hemsworth is a god and Chris Pine wooed Wonder Woman…but Chris Pratt is the whole package. He has that certain je ne sais quoi the others are lacking. (Fun fact: the French phrase je ne sais quoi (which refers to an indescribable quality that makes something undeniably appealing or attractive) was invented to describe Chris Pratt. Don’t google it or anything, just trust me.) Also, his superhero suit is the sexiest too! No one walks around in a cape, star-spangled leotard, or WWII bomber uniform/tight orange shirt (save cosplayers) in their day-to-day life. But that Star Lord jacket and ironic space candy t-shirt? That’s hot. It’s sexy superhero chic that’s functional too! You can wear it anytime you want mad props for looking fly.
Sexiness Point – Chris Pratt
Of all the Chrises in contention, Chris Pratt is the one you’d most like to hang out with too. And while that’s a terrible criterion for judging who to vote for (see the conversations before and results of the 2000 U.S. presidential election) it’s the exact sort of criteria needed in pop culture debates like this. He’s this fun, funny, lovable goofball who finds an infectious amount of joy in life. AND THE MAN CAN DANCE. He’s also the type of guy who stole his Star Lord costume from the set of Guardians Of The Galaxy way back in 2014 so, on the off chance the film/character was a hit, he could visit children in hospitals, helping him earn The Mary Sue’s title of “being a perfect human being.”
The fun and humor of Chris Pratt can’t be underrated because what’s life without laughter?? When Peter Travers called Thor: Ragnarök, “The most fun you’ll ever have at a Marvel movie” (something never said about the Chrises Evans or Pine so they automatically lose here) he was clearly forgetting about Guardians Of The Galaxy (something Thor: Ragnarök clearly modelled with its cosmic vision and comedic tone). I defy you to tell me this isn’t the single greatest opening to any superhero movie ever:
Our cultural attention spans are short, but remember, this moment let everyone know Guardians Of The Galaxy was different. This scene made the world fall in love with Chris Pratt. His charisma was such that he got the whole world to care about a character no one had really heard of before the film came out. Captain America? Thor? Steve Trevor? Captain Kirk? Oh yeah, big deal. They’re all HUGE characters with established histories and titles. But Chris Pratt was the only one bold and brilliant enough to venture into uncharted waters and turn the unknown into a bankable pop culture touchstone. Sure, everyone loves Star Lord now but we love him because of Chris Pratt and the importance of that can’t be overstated!
Personality Point – Chris Pratt
Of all the superheroes these men play, Chris Pratt plays the most emotionally complex character too (which, naturally, asks the most of the actor who plays him). When he’s still a boy, Peter Quill loses his mom to cancer only to be abducted by Yondu Udonta and his Ravagers moments later. He grows up roaming the seediest, most dangerous parts of space with no knowledge of his father and no connection to the family he left behind. This is every bit as tragic as Batman or Spider-Man’s origin stories…if not more so! Yet Peter doesn’t become an angry, emotionally stunted man nor does he glumly carry the weight of the world on his shoulders. It’s quite the contrary in fact. He still finds the joy and fun in life and his heart and soul will help unite the Guardians – a group of losers, loners, outcasts, and misfits – as they grow into a very real family.
On the family note, Chris Pratt’s Guardians Of The Galaxy films have the most important message of any superhero movies we have. They show that family – forged of those we are bonded to in and through love – is an idea that can grow to include strangers, enemies, and those we don’t fully understand. Sure, Chris Evans plays incorruptible morality, Chris Hemsworth plays the bridge between the human and the divine, and Chris Pine plays selfless sacrifice…but showing us how to find true family in friends, strangers, and even perceived enemies? This is what the world needs and Chris Pratt delivers.
Plus, do we all remember the very first image from the very first behind the scenes look at Avengers: Infinity War? Who was in it? Why RDJ of course (the heart of the MCU), Tom Holland (who plays Spider-Man, Marvel’s most popular character), and CHRIS PRATT (because – BOOM – he’s the best/most important Chris they have).
Most Important Superhero Point – Chris Pratt
As Peter Quill he’s cocky and snarky while also being goofy, tender, vulnerable, and brave. This diversity is something that shines through in all his roles. He was the best part of The Seven Year Engagement as well as Delivery Man. His role in the already incredible Her showed his depth and sensitivity in a brand new way too. He put so much heart into the goofball Andy Dwyer on Parks and Rec, and he’s anchoring THREE major franchises in Guardians Of The Galaxy, Jurassic World, and The LEGO Movie. What other Chris can do that?
Best Actor Point – Chris Pratt
Let’s not over look his importance in the tech savvy world in which we live either. By that I mean he’s ALREADY given us a gif with the cultural importance and great-for-any-occasion status most celebrities can spend their whole career trying to achieve.
He’s the ONLY Marvel Cinematic Chris to score a perfect “Snog Record” in MTV’s “Snog, Marry, Avoid” game.
He’s the most musically inclined of the Chrises, fronting his own band – the epic Mouse Rat – in Parks and Rec and expressing the deepest longings of the human heart through the majesty of song.
On that note, he loves a good Chris Team-Up and can also do the lift from Dirty Dancing (well, sort of). Plus, Jimmy Kimmel isn’t going to let just anyone fill in for him, you know? But Chris Pratt has it covered.
He’s brilliant too! Can any of our other Chrises solve a freaking Rubic’s Cube in under three minutes WHILE being interviewed?? No. And because he’s CHRIS FREAKIN’ PRATT he also dances with Baby Groot in the same clip.
All Around Awesomeness Point – Chris Pratt
So, by my count, that’s Chris Pratt: 5, every other Chris: 0. Don’t feel bad though other Chrises. He is “a perfect human being.” He’s also kind of an a-hole but not (and I’m quoting here) 100% a dick. But I am too. We all are sometimes. Even so, Chris Pratt shows us all how to be super.
The Chris fun continues! Check out the other compelling arguments in this series:
Kathleen’s post – The Great Chris Debate! Part 2: Chris Evans
Kalie’s post – The Great Chris Debate: In Defense of Chris Hemsworth
Nancy’s post – The Great Chris Debate! Part 4: Chris Pine