After years of being relegated to the “hot boyfriend” role in romantic comedies and the “generic buff guy” second lead in action movies, Chris Evans is finally getting his big break as Captain America in a three-movie deal with Marvel Entertainment. What does that mean for the actor, who, despite a list of IMDb credits nearly 30 deep and a main role in the Fantastic Four franchise, is still not a household name?
Well, hopefully, after the first Captain America movie comes out in July 2011, it means he’ll finally be able to prove that he’s not as boring as we suspect he might be. In the past, leading ladies like Scarlett Johansson (The Nanny Diaries, The Perfect Score), Jessica Alba (Fantastic Four), and Dakota Fanning (Push) have overshadowed his presence, only allowing him to convey a safe sense of generic likeability instead of making an actual impression.
But now, in the starring role, Chris has no excuse to blend in. He’s Captain America, the super soldier, the symbol of everything great about the USA. Things can go two ways: One, he finally proves that there is something charasmatic there, and validates that whoever keeps casting him really does see something special. Or two, Hugo Weaving steals the movie as the villainous Red Skull and the new super franchise crashes and burns, like the disastrous Eric Bana version of The Incredible Hulk (talk about an uncharasmatic lead).
Which will it be? Will Chris Evans finally discover his hidden potential? Or will Hollywood finally realize that just because someone is inoffensively good-looking, that doesn’t mean they can carry an entire film franchise? Even sometimes-boring Tobey Maguire had charisma as Spider-Man.