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The Chris Wars Return

Pine, Evans, Hemsworth, and Pratt duke it out for Chris supremacy

(Warner Bros./Disney/Fox Searchlight/Ringer illustration)
(Warner Bros./Disney/Fox Searchlight/Ringer illustration)

In his first moments hosting Saturday Night Live this weekend, Chris Pine sang a song about the problem that has haunted him his entire adult life: There are a lot of famous Chrises. “I’m not in Guardians of the Galaxy,” he insisted, crestfallen. “That’s Chris Pratt! I’m Chris Pine.”

(NBC)
(NBC)

The song touched on some important details of this ongoing conflict — the fact that the Chrises are “all white guys” who are “always at the airport wearing raggedy tees that are tight just around the pecs.” But its underlying theme was only hinted at. And that is: Though neither Pine, Evans, Hemsworth, nor Pratt asked for it, the Chrises’ profound shared similarities create an environment of competition wherein one Chris’s success and triumph can only come at the expense of the other three. It is a biological fact, the unchangeable law at the heart of what is widely known as … the Chris Wars.

In late July of 2016, this very website held the first battle — first officially scored battle, that is; the Chrises have been informally at war with each other for years — in the Chris Wars. Measuring the actors in seven different categories, we attempted to rank each Chris in order of their Chris-ness — to decide, once and for all, which bemuscled actor best exemplified his kind. Whose movies did the best? Who was the best boyfriend? Whose hair was flowiest? In short: Who was most Chris? After much analysis, it was determined that Chris Evans was our winner.

But that was nearly a year ago. Much has changed since then. To start, Chris Pratt has become an eligible participant in the Chris Wars. Previously, the committee had determined that Pratt was not yet on the same footing as the other Chrises. But then Pine included Pratt by name and face in his Saturday Night Live dirge. Pratt’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 made $145 million in its first weekend at the box office. A looming backlash against the actor began to swirl. All three of those things — recognition, bankability, and audience fatigue — mean that Chris Pratt is ready for combat in the Chris Wars. I would offer congratulations, but being allowed to enter a war like this is no cause for celebration.

With a new combatant in the Chris Wars — as well as new haircuts, chambray shirts, movies, and earnest quotes about “how shocking the sexism in Hollywood is” — it’s become necessary to once again look at the numbers and study this fascinating struggle. The rules remain simple: Each Chris will be measured in seven categories and will receive points based on their rankings within those categories. Many of the metrics that were employed last year will be employed here, along with a few new qualifications. At the end of the process, we will be able to authoritatively answer the following question: Who is winning the Chris Wars?

Let the games begin.

Franchise Chris

Franchise Chris is an actor capable of being quaint, charming, and affably dorky all while doing that thing buff guys do where they flex and make their pecs bounce. As Captain America, Chris Evans has been the preeminent FC. But Evans’s place on the tentpole throne is being challenged from all sides. Chris Pratt is the face of a box-office juggernaut. Pine, who for the past decade has led the Star Trek franchise, will now play Wonder Woman’s Prince Eric–type in the upcoming Wonder Woman. And Hemsworth, long cast off as a less important superhero, seems primed to bring Thor to the forefront, if Ragnarok’s winning trailer is any indication.

With both Pine’s and Hemsworth’s 2017 efforts still to come, they are only prospective threats to Evans. Pine may be a perfect straight man for Wonder Woman (he nails the role’s two requirements: being utterly impressed by a woman’s strength and looking dope in a bomber jacket), and Hemsworth may finally be able to breathe life into a Thor movie (all it took was the development of a Channing Tatum–style comedic persona, Jeff Goldblum, and an off-kilter director named Taika Waititi). Until those things happen, though, Pine and Hemsworth are just possibilities.

(Marvel Studios)
(Marvel Studios)

Chris Pratt, meanwhile, has given a full-on Franchise Chris performance in 2017, but it left quite a bit to be desired. Pratt’s Peter Quill splashed onto the scene in 2014 with Guardians of the Galaxy as a snarky, cool misfit hero, a sort of anti-establishment curveball — Deadpool before the first of 14,000 Deadpool trailers was ever made. In Guardians Vol. 2, Pratt is given a chance to color in Quill’s superficial appeal with emotional layering, as all Franchise champions eventually must. But Pratt fails, delivering a flat, uninspiring performance. As more and more time goes by, the argument that Pratt is not a star capable of carrying multimillion-dollar properties is setting in. Many — Pratt’s wife, Anna Faris, included — wish he was still overweight, an indictment against his capabilities as a Franchise performer if there ever was one.

Finally, Chris Evans has had exactly zero official business as Captain America in 2017, yet people continue to insist that he is ACTUALLY CAPTAIN AMERICA. He is our winner.

Rankings: (1) Chris Evans (four points), (2) Chris Pine (three points), (3) Chris Hemsworth (two points), (4) Chris Pratt (one point)

Advanced Chris Metrics (Updated)

VORH (Value Over Replacement Hair)
VORH measures a Chris’s hair’s contribution to the world when compared to “replacement hair,” which is defined (roughly) as average Chris hair. This VORH was measured based on the most recent photo available of each Chris on Getty Images.

1. Chris Hemsworth: +3.05

2. Chris Evans: +2.61

3. Chris Pratt: +2.25

4. Chris Pine: +0.72

As you maybe noticed, all of the Chrises’ haircuts look remarkably similar these days. It wasn’t always like this: Hemsworth used to have an impressive flow, Pine has rocked a quaff for most of his career, and Pratt once had the hair of a man who sleeps in his parents’ basement. We should keep an eye on this trend — otherwise more time may pass and before we know it the Chrises will be completely indistinguishable.

QLNT (Quality Late-Night Time)
QLNT measures the amount of time a Chris spends on late-night television that is ideally good. “Ideally good time” is defined as any time spent NOT playing goofy games with oversized objects, lip-synch or rap battling, doing karaoke, or anything painfully out of touch. QLNT is a percentage quantified by dividing the ideally good time (in seconds) by the total amount of time on late night.

1. Evans: 99 percent (Evans’ only error on late-night TV in 2017 was when he wholeheartedly suggested on Jimmy Kimmel Live! that Falcons fans should appreciate the New England Patriots’ 25-point comeback in the Super Bowl. That was insulting and rude and just a tad too Boston.)

2. Pratt: 84 percent (Pratt has an off-putting habit of making jokes about he and his wife having sex on late-night TV, which he did multiple times in 2017 on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.)

3. Pine: 67 percent (Pine appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.)

4. Hemsworth: N/A (In a very un-Chrislike move, Hemsworth has not appeared on major late-night TV in 2017.)

SAYSAENW (Speculative And Yet Somehow Authoritative Estimated Net Worth)

1. Hemsworth: $60 million
2. Evans: $40 million
3. Pratt: $30 million
4. Pine: $20 million

ABOP (Average Box-Office Performance) July 2016–May 2017, First Weekend Only

1. Pratt: $64,874,044
2. Hemsworth: $46,018,755
3. Pine: $29,937,270
4. Evans: $446,380

AGR (Average Google Result)
AGR measures a Chris’s good buzz by judging the connotation of each headline in the first three pages of each Chris’s Google results from the past year.

T1. Hemsworth: +5 (Hemmy’s results are almost all positive or at least neutral. Minus a couple of unseemly gossip stories, they’re all about how awesome he is at surfing, being a dad, lifting weights, and drinking beer with Matt Damon, which puts him over the top.)

T1. Evans: +4 (Evans is mostly praised in headlines for being the real-life incarnation of Captain America. Even posts about his breakup from Jenny Slate are kind to him.)

3. Pine: +2 (You’d think Pine would have an advantage here because he just hosted Saturday Night Live, which generally results in good press. However, most of his SNL writeups are neutral, some even negative. And it’s safe to say many are broken up about Pine recently shaving his head.)

4. Pratt: -3 (Chris Pratt is having a tough time on Google as of late. A certain website declared that he was “not a movie star,” another dubbed Michael Rooker the star of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and another criticized comments he made about the movie.)

Rankings: (1) Chris Hemsworth (four points), (2) Chris Evans (three points), (3) Chris Pratt (two points), (4) Chris Pine (one point)

Boyfriend Chris

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Chris-ness is not a measure of just star power and masculine proficiency — it also takes into account a Chris’s ability to be a partner. So which Chris is the best significant other? Let’s do this one by process of elimination.

First eliminated is Chris Pine, who has been linked to more than 10 women in five years and once told Out magazine, “It’s really hard in our business to maintain something.” Oh yeah, Chris Pine? Tell that to all the other Chrises. Pine’s refusal to commit is a black mark on his standing as a Chris, and the problem is certainly ongoing. Though he was seen “holding hands” and “being flirty” with Star Trek costar Sofia Boutella at Coachella — where celebrity relationships are confirmed, in both the gossip-page and biblical senses of the word — a source tells People that the two “are friends but not dating.” I, for one, am appalled.

Chrises Pratt and Hemsworth are both married, meanwhile, and appear to be doing swimmingly as husbands. Both speak floridly and frequently about the merits of their wives, Anna Faris and Elsa Pataky, and post cute Instagram photos; both have withstood and overcome rumors of their own infidelity to reassert their stature as significant others. The only thing separating them is the opinion of Jennifer Lawrence, who speaks for America. Jennifer Lawrence said Chris Pratt and Anna Faris “look like a Nicholas Sparks novel. You know when you see people who are so happy, it just makes you miserable?” Jennifer Lawrence has never confessed to being made miserable by Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky’s relationship. Therefore, Chris Pratt is a better boyfriend than Chris Hemsworth. Jennifer Lawrence says so.

This is all mere squabbling, however, because Chris Evans is clearly the most exemplary boyfriend of all the Chrises. In May 2016, Evans began dating Jenny Slate, an actress who made for an unexpected — and unexpectedly delightful — match with Evans’s blue-blood, captain-of-the-football-team vibes. She was cool, and he could deadlift a horse; she did Marcel the Shell, and he threw a shield. He would go on to prove a gladiator-level boyfriend, gallantly playing Slate’s arm candy at The Secret Life of Pets premiere, giving the movie free publicity on Twitter, and receiving nothing but glowing reviews from Slate. “The first night that we hung out, I was like, ‘Wow, I could hang out with Chris for, like, 90 hours,’” she told Anna Faris on her podcast, Unqualified. Soon, Evans was not only Jenny Slate’s boyfriend — he became America’s boyfriend. He went above and beyond the call of Chris. The two broke up in February 2017, but like the hall of fame partner Evans is, he didn’t let something silly like that stop him from being awesome. Evans is such a devoted boyfriend that he continued being a boyfriend even after the relationship ended. Here is a list of things he has said about Jenny Slate since they broke up:

  • “She’s the best.”
  • “She’s so vulnerable, so honest, so interested in other people more than herself, she’s incredibly compassionate, there’s just nothing to not love about her.”
  • “She’s my favorite human.”
  • “I’ve never ever ever met someone in my life who has a mastery of the English language the way she does. She’ll give you one sentence and there’s no fat to it. You’re like, ‘You just chose such an unbelievable collection of words that beautifully articulate what you say.’ It’s like an art form talking with her, because the visuals associated with her expression are just so colorful.”

Get you a man like Chris Evans, who will call up People magazine and praise you for eternity, even after you start seeing other people.

Rankings: (1) Chris Evans (four points), (2) Chris Pratt (three points), (3) Chris Hemsworth (two points), (4) Chris Pine (one point)

‘SNL’ Chris

SNL Chris does not measure how funny a Chris is on the program Saturday Night Live. Rather, it counts how many Saturday Night Live sketches have been produced that hinge on the idea that everyone wants to have sex with the Chris in question. (An important SNL tradition for Hollywood hunks.)

T1. Pine: 2 (“The House” and “HR Meeting”)

T1. Hemsworth: 2 (“American Express Ad” and “Brother 2 Brother”)

3. Evans: 0 (has not hosted Saturday Night Live, sad!)

4. Pratt: 0

Tiebreakers: Pine has hosted SNL only once to Hemsworth’s two times, making his tally more impressive. Evans has not hosted SNL, and therefore has not had an opportunity to appear in sketches that revolve entirely around his desirability; Pratt has, which makes the zero next to his name more glaring.

Rankings: (1) Chris Pine (four points), (2) Chris Hemsworth (three points), (3) Chris Evans (two points), (4) Chris Pratt (one point)

A Chris Poll

Rankings: (1) Chris Pratt (four points), (2) Chris Hemsworth (three points), (3) Chris Evans (two points), (4) Chris Pine (one point)

Digital Chris

A social media presence is important, but a good Chris does more than merely “be online.” A good Chris uses social media with equal restraint and purpose, making every tweet or Instagram upload feel like a gift (and a blog post on the Daily Mail). Taking a look at each Chris’s biggest moments on social media in 2017 should help us judge who’s using the networks to the best effect.

Evans: Fights former KKK leader David Duke on Twitter; Gets into adorable trash-talk Twitter battle with Octavia Spencer; Becomes literal Captain America

Pratt: Apologizes for offending hearing-impaired fans; Eats snacks; Becomes literal Andy Dwyer

Hemsworth: Does sexy photobomb; Is #DadGoals; Becomes literal Thor

Pine: Appears in promotional video; Goes to Suits star Patrick J. Adams’s bachelor party

Rankings: (1) Chris Evans (four points), (2) Chris Hemsworth (three points), (3) Chris Pratt (two points), (4) Chris Pine (one point)

Future Chris

We know who the Chrises are today, but equally important is who the Chrises will be tomorrow.

Evans: BROADWAY, Marvel shit, saying he’s maybe done with Marvel shit even though he’s definitely not done with Marvel shit

Hemsworth: Marvel shit, a war movie, and … joining fellow Chris in the next Star Trek?!

Pine: Wonder Woman, a potential Oscar movie or two, and … joining fellow Chris in the next Star Trek?!

Pratt: Jurassic shit, Marvel shit

Rankings: (1) Chris Pine (four points for range), (2) Chris Hemsworth (three points for cool Thor), (3) Chris Evans (two points for lying), (4) Chris Pratt (one point)

Final Chris Rankings

1. Chris Evans: 21 points
2. Chris Hemsworth: 20 points
3. Chris Pine: 15 points
4. Chris Pratt: 14 points

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Chris Evans has once again prevailed in the Chris Wars. Despite not releasing a superhero movie in 2017, he remains the Chris who most resembles a superhero in real life. The gap is closing though. If Hemsworth successfully revitalizes Thor with Ragnarok in November, his name may be in the top spot come 2018. As for the other Chrises? It seems Pine is destined to forever be a Cult Chris, feverishly beloved by a select few but never fully breaking through to the mainstream. I’m sure he’s fine with that — the guy doesn’t have Twitter. Pratt, meanwhile, must be commended for working hard enough to finally be a contestant in the Chris Wars. As Chris Noth will tell you, that’s not an easy accomplishment. But these results clearly show that Pratt isn’t in the same realm as Evans, Hemsworth, and Pine. Perhaps he has another gear he hasn’t hit yet. Until then, bow down to Chris Evans, two-time King of the Chrises.