Chris Pratt breaks new ground with The Terminal List, proving that he needs more work in the action-thriller genre instead of the quirky comedy genre. Pratt got his start in smaller supporting roles in film and TV, usually playing an aloof goofball, such as Andy Dwyer in the comedy series Parks and Recreation, which helped to put him on the map. The actor teased his early action-star potential as a Navy SEAL in director Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty, which served as the inspiration for Jack Carr to create his Navy SEAL protagonist James Reece in The Terminal List in Pratt’s likeness.
Pratt got his biggest break in 2014 with the one-two punch of The LEGO Movie (where he played to his comedic charm as Emmet Brickowski) and James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 (where he took on the role of Star-Lord). Both films would spawn sequels, with Pratt playing his MCU character in other films as well, including Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, and Thor: Love and Thunder. The actor also saw tremendous success in the Jurassic World series, playing the lead role of Owen Grady, with that franchise wrapping its trilogy with Jurassic World Dominion. Pratt will finish up his role as Star-Lord in both the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which is said to be the last of the series with the original cast.
Now, Pratt is on the precipice of turning over a new leaf, as The Terminal List is the most mature, hardcore, and complex role he’s had to date, proving that it’s time for him to take on more work in similar roles, rather than back-peddling into comedic fare with voice work in animated films. Pratt took his first step toward this kind of work with Prime Video’s sci-fi action flick The Tomorrow War, a big hit for the streamer, but still fairly safe in terms of being an all-audiences project. The Terminal List represents the next evolution of the actor, however, and it could be the path to greatness if he follows it, rather than continuing to pursue voice-over performances in animated fare like Super Mario or Garfield, for which he’s already signed up.
The Terminal List is a dark, mysterious, and trippy action suspense thriller that allows Pratt to stretch in a range he’s never even attempted before. Strong-willed, emotionally charged, and intensely motivated, his performance as Commander James Reece sets a new bar for the actor, which could open up his career to more material that capitalizes on those strengths, rather than trying to check every genre box (something Dwayne Johnson struggled with early on). Leaning into the action star persona in character-driven action films and thrillers is a great genre for Pratt to master, where he could push himself into even bigger and better territory that takes him to the next level that many of his contemporaries have struggled to achieve. Pratt is a supremely talented comic performer, but he’s proved himself in this genre. Revisiting that part of his career with silly comedies and animated voices could seem like a step back.
As a father, Pratt likely wants to make some films that his younger kids can enjoy, but taking on too many of them could halt his development. It can be difficult for actors to find their niche and some never do. Some become character actors (such as JK Simmons), while others run the gamut in genres (such as Christian Bale), and some find a niche that suits their sensibilities best (such as Tom Cruise) and push it as far as they can go. Pratt can explore roles for an under-served audience in the R-rated action genre, a void that’s been left by legacy stars like Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Bruce Willis. Pratt has already proven all he needs to prove in the comedy genre and it’s time for him to shine in this new persona he is so well-suited and primed for. With Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy winding down, it’s time for Pratt to refocus on this next stage of his career, which The Terminal List has shown he’s more than ready for.
Next: Guardians 3: Star-Lord’s New Costume Hints At A Big Chris Pratt Change
The Terminal List premieres all 8 episodes on July 1st, 2022 exclusively on Prime Video.