Chris Pine movies are so much better when he’s sweaty and dirty

Like so many conventionally attractive leading men in Hollywood, Chris Pine is usually presented as a standard hero in major films, but often excels as an actor when allowed to go wild with something quirky and weird. You may know Pine because of star trek And wonder woman, but where he really thrives is every time he’s allowed to grow a beard, get a bead of sweat on his forehead, and get his hands dirty. In these roles, it’s hard to forget that more conventional Chris Pine look. It’s a testament to both his acting skills and the wonders that can happen when Hollywood lets Chris Pine star in more sinister material.

What were Chris Pine’s first filthy roles?

Chris Pine as Rex Hanson in Horrible Bosses 2
Image via Warner Bros.

After star trek Launching it into the stratosphere, Chris Pine took on a handful of traditional leading roles, including in long-forgotten movies like It means war And people like us. However, in 2014, five years after first boarding the USS Enterprise and the same year, he anchored a disposable reboot of the Jack Ryan movies, Pine started going crazy. It was the year Pine did a lengthy uncredited supporting performance in Stretch as Roger Karos, a character who parachutes into the film on a limo in his underwear. Karos is meant to be an embodiment of unbridled mayhem, and Pine’s enthusiasm in this intro sequence makes that personality entertainingly apparent.


Stretch because an overall film is never quite the sum of its parts. It’s a Joe Carnahan effort from a director who lacks the endearing idiocy of his 2010 film The A-teamand just like his 2021 feature film cop shopfeels like a bit too much B-movie edge lord nonsense. However, if there’s a standout part of Stretch, this is Pine’s performance. Reuniting with Carnahan after Pine broke away as a white supremacist in Smokin’ Aces, Pine completely throws himself into the role of an unpredictable sleazeball. The dissonance between Pine’s status as a classic leading man and the chaos he unleashes in Stretch proves surprisingly durable in terms of pure entertainment value. If other actors of Stretchto know Ed Helms And James Insigne Dalefeel a little too grounded in reality, Pine’s work as Karos is pleasantly manic.

This performance, which just beams with the filth of excess money and power, was a clearer indicator that Pine could go for the dirty and excel as an actor in the process. Later that year, Pine would host Horrible Bosses 2 like wealthy antagonist Rex Hanson. Pine isn’t just laughing here. Her performance hints at a darker, funnier feature. A scene where Hanson begins to fight, with barely a wry line uttered by Pine to undermine the glow of self-inflicted brutality, underscores what a malevolent and extreme character Hanson is.

While everyone in Horrible Bosses 2, namely the three leads, is busy delivering outdated pop culture references and overly long bits of improvised comedy, Pine relishes the chance to play someone so despicable. He committed to playing a self-contained character, a character whose desperation and willingness to do anything to achieve his vicious goals deserved a far more worthwhile film to inhabit. Horrible Bosses 2 would be quickly forgotten before its opening weekend was even over. However, it did at least serve as a reminder that Pine was very good at playing crummy characters. If he could nail that kind of performance in a film as appalling as Horrible Bosses 2who knows what he could do with quality material?

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‘Hell or High Water’ Shows Chris Pine’s Commitment to Grimy Characters

Pine’s gift for portraying characters drenched in sweat and courage isn’t limited to playing adversaries in 2014 disposable genre films. He also used this talent to play the protagonist of Against all odds, Toby Howard. A man living in West Texas whose bank robbery with his brother Tanner (Ben Foster) as part of a revenge scheme against the Texas Midlands Bank. The idea of ​​a classic track like Pine playing the role of a cash-strapped Texan seems like a recipe for a Hillbilly Elegylike a disaster.

Fortunately, Pine opts for subtlety in portraying Toby Howard. Avoiding very loud or stylized features to indicate he’s playing an “everybody” (like a fatsuit or a cartoonish accent), Pine seeks more subdued details, like adjusting his posture to reflect a man who’s been beaten by the injustices of the world. . Pine’s willingness to be covered in dirt and sweat also mirrors the idea that Toby Howard works tirelessly on his family’s ranch, a home threatened by the Texas Midlands Bank. Representations in Stretch And Horrible Bosses 2 used the filthy Chris Pine to capture evil people who reek of desperation and privilege. Against all oddsin contrast, uses this version of Pine to give urgency to Toby Howard’s fate.

Let Chris Pine be sweaty and dirty, you cowards

Chris Pine in Hell or High Water in 2016
Image via Lionsgate

Since 2016, Chris Pine’s film roles have, tragically, not made extravagant use of his gift for grimy roles. Projects like both wonder woman movies and don’t worry darling see him operate without facial hair or dirt on his body. Even outlaw kinga now long-forgotten Netflix epic he played with Against all odds director David Mackenzie, didn’t offer Pine many chances to be memorably sweaty and desperate. It’s not necessarily bad when Pine inhabits these kinds of performances (he has a lot of fun in the first wonder woman!) but that seems like a reflection of Hollywood’s misunderstanding of what makes this actor so fascinating to watch onscreen.

Pine looks like a parody of the hot white dudes Hollywood gravitates towards as the default leading men. But through projects whose overall quality varies enormously like Stretch And Against all odds, Pine has shown a knack for getting his hands dirty and portraying despair so palpable you can practically feel it breathing down your neck. Even his most memorable comedic moments in family films like the “Agony” sequence in In the woods or the hysterical end credits number “Spidey-Bell” in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse using Pine’s strengths to portray messy torment. Here’s hoping Chris Pine’s future roles lean heavily on that talent. Nothing should get moviegoers more excited for what’s to come in a Chris Pine star vehicle than seeing the actor with sweat on his brow and dirt on his fingertips.


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