Chris Pratt has had a very interesting career, one that is representative of Hollywood as a whole. I’m not talking about his status as a celebrity, or any of that drama, but specifically the roles that he has in movies and shows throughout his career.
Chris Pratt’s first listed IMDb credit is in 2000, where he was in a horror comedy short, and then was in minor roles of lesser movies and shows, until he really got started in 2009.
Part I – Goofball
In 2009, the NBC hit comedy Parks and Recreation premiered, and while it wasn’t an instant hit, being called a The Office rip-off, it quickly found it’s ground in the second season, and became a massive hit with 124 episodes across 7 seasons. The character Andy Dwyer, played by Pratt, was supposed to only be around for the first season, while Amy Poehler’s character used this dork’s broken leg as the motivation to get the town to fill in a pit in the middle of town.
Luckily, Chris Pratt played Andy Dwyer better than anyone expected, and quickly became a fan favorite, lasting throughout the entire series’ run. Pratt tried to leverage his new popularity with some more work, but the only notable role he had for years besides Dwyer, was Scott Hatteberg in Moneyball, an Aaron Sorkin drama, where he was overshadowed by Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill, not to mention Robin Wright and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Still though, we all knew him as human-golden retriever Andy. He also was in Zero Dark Thirty, and Her in minor roles as well, but it’s clear he was trying to get into more serious, dramatic roles.
Part II – Leading Man
Then, in 2014-2015 stretch completely changed Chris Pratt’s career into being a household name. In that span, he became Peter Quill/Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy, lead character Owen Grady in Jurassic World, and lead character Emmet Brickowski in The Lego Movie. All three of these were massive hits, as family friendly movies that are better than your Minions or your Secret Life of Pets, and everyone instantly loved him.
He went and lost some weight, got ripped, and became a classic Marvel actor, funny and traditionally attractive. Unfortunately, that was the beginning of the end for him. After Jurassic World in 2015, 7 of his next 13 film roles were related to either the MCU, the Jurassic series, or the Lego series. While that is great for his paycheck, getting consistent big name jobs, it is not great for the growth of his career. Those three movies showed a great range that differed from his Andy Dwyer days, but still with an interesting style. Then the characters, especially Star-Lord, got the Flanders treatment, reduced to a two-dimensional character that is supposed to be a comedic foil to the “main” characters of Iron Man or Thor. Star-Lord went from a competent, but silly treasure hunter, capable of leading a team of space pirates, to idiot-in-love that doesn’t understand teamwork and feels emasculated by a god.
Part III – Generic White Guy
You see, once he became generically attractive and funny, he started to get generically attractive and funny roles, which are far less interesting than just funny roles. The 6 of those 13 roles that weren’t part of major IPs, includes an ensemble part in The Magnificent Seven, his low-key NiceGuy villain in Passengers, the older brother in Pixar’s Onward, and his Tom Cruise ripoff character in The Tomorrow War.
Now, he leads a new show The Terminal List, where “A former Navy SEAL officer investigates why his entire platoon was ambushed during a high-stakes covert mission.” The most boring, Tom Clancy Jack Ryan blah blah premise I’ve ever heard. Even the characters initials are JR.
What’s next for Pratt? Another Guardians of the Galaxy, an animated Mario movie AND an animated Garfield movie, and I guess just his new show.
Again, I can’t blame Chris Pratt entirely, because his professional development often relies on following the money, but he has completely destroyed his reputation that he had in 2015, because he just became a generic attractive lead actor.