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American films

Chris Pratt’s five best movies ranked before Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom hits the big screens

‘Starlord’ Chris Pratt has come a long way since his early TV roles in Everwood, The OC and Parks & Recreation. We take a look at his best films, starting with his role as an affable slob and father of four in Delivery Man

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 02 June, 2018, 10:01am
UPDATED : Monday, 04 June, 2018, 3:44pm

Today he’s one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, but as recently as five years ago, Chris Pratt was largely unknown to the movie-going public.

Television audiences had warmed to him in teen soaps Everwood and The OC, and his lovable idiot in comedy series Parks and Recreation became a fan favourite. But it was not until Marvel Studios cast him in Guardians of the Galaxy that Pratt became a household name.

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With Avengers: Infinity War still soaring at the box office, Pratt is back on our screens this week in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, giving us the perfect excuse to look back over the actor’s best big-screen roles so far. Here are his top five.

5. Delivery Man (2013)

Before making it big, Pratt appeared in a string of comedies, playing boyfriends, best friends and co-workers to the likes of Anne Hathaway, Joaquin Phoenix and then-wife Anna Faris. The best of the bunch was as Brett, a lawyer and Vince Vaughn’s pal in 2013’s Delivery Man.

This remake of the French-Canadian comedy Starbuck (2011) sees Vaughn discover that his anonymous sperm donations have sired over 500 children, who now want to meet their father. It’s very much Vaughn’s movie, but Pratt’s affable slob, and father to four too-cute rugrats, proves a scene-stealing highlight.

4. Jurassic World (2015)

As US Navy veteran turned raptor-trainer Owen Grady, Pratt cemented his status as a Hollywood leading man in this smash hit sequel to Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park. When a genetically modified super dinosaur breaks free and starts wreaking havoc at the remote island theme park, it falls to Grady to save the day.

The film went all in on prehistoric spectacle, but characterisation was all but extinct. So it’s kudos to Pratt’s natural charisma that he was able to spin an underwritten tough guy role into a hunky action hero with enough rugged charm to make a T-Rex swoon.

3. Moneyball (2011)

While still desperately seeking his big break, Pratt found himself in three back-to-back Oscar best picture contenders. A small role in Spike Jonze’s sci-fi romcom Her followed a brief appearance as a member of Seal Team Six in Kathryn Bigelow’s war-on-terror drama Zero Dark Thirty. But it was as real-life baseball player Scott Hatteberg in the Aaron Sorkin-penned Moneyball where he scored highest.

Holding his own opposite heavyweights Brad Pitt and Philip Seymour Hoffman, Pratt showed he was just as adept at knocking a dramatic role out of the park as he was at bringing the funny.

2. The Lego Movie (2014)

2014 was to be Pratt’s breakout year, and it all started right here. An unlikely high-concept animated comedy that became one of the year’s biggest success stories, The Lego Movie was a candy-coloured, sugar-fuelled adventure through toy land that was part The Matrix, part 1984, and part metaphysical exploration of creativity and what it really means to be “The Special”.

With his voice alone, Pratt perfectly embodied Emmet, the deluded everyman who stumbles upon an ancient prophesy and sets out on a hilarious odyssey that was every bit as smart as it was flat-out hilarious. For Pratt, everything really was awesome.

1. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

It’s hard to conceive that Guardians of the Galaxy was seen as a massive gamble for Marvel when first announced. It’s equally impossible to see anybody else as wisecracking space bandit Peter “Starlord” Quill. Pratt’s star-making turn grounded director James Gunn’s oddball deep space adventure with an irreverent human perspective that audiences locked onto instantly.

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What better way to introduce a new superhero than strutting through a cave, toe-punting alien lizards to Redbone’s Come and Get Your Love? Pratt has already reprised the role twice – in a sequel and when he went toe-to-toe with Thor and Iron Man in Avengers: Infinity War – and has at least two more outings in the works.

From his current trajectory, “Starlord” is as fitting a nickname for Pratt himself as for his lovable Han Solo for the 21st century.

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