Why underrated actor Chris Pine is suddenly at the top of his game

Wonder Woman Chris Pine 3 finalWarner Bros.Chris Pine in ‘Wonder Woman.’

Someone give Chris Pine’s agent a raise!

The actor who’s still best known for his incredible looks and playing James Kirk in the “Star Trek” movies (yes, in that order) is suddenly showing he has serious acting talents, and we couldn’t be more happier about it.

Hell or high waterHell or High Water‘Hell or High Water.’

Things started to look good for Pine in 2015 when he stared in Craig Zobel’s gritty indie “Z for Zachariah” alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor and Margot Robbie. He also got high marks in early 2016 as a hero Coast Guard crewman in “The Finest Hours.” But Pine’s talents really shined through that summer when the acclaimed heist movie “Hell or High Water” opened and went on to become one of the highest-grossing indie films of the year.

Playing a divorced father who teams with his ex-con brother (Ben Foster) to rip off a chain of banks to pay off the family ranch, Pine delivers a somber performance with fits of rage that are shocking to see coming from the guy most people know as the young captain of the Enterprise. And then there’s the final scene, a showdown his character has with a Texas Ranger (Jeff Bridges) who’s been on his tail. The back and forth between Pine and Bridges, with dialogue from screenwriter Taylor Sheridan, is incredibly powerful.

Now, as love interest Steve Trevor in the highly anticipated “Wonder Woman” (out Friday), Pine proves that regardless of the size of the film, if the material is right he can be stellar.

And I’ll be the first to admit, when he was in that black-and-white photo with Wonder Woman that appears in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” I thought, “Chris Pine? WTF!” But we’ve come a long way since.

In “Wonder Woman,” Trevor is a World War I spy who, in the midst of trying to bring vital information back to the allies about a poison the Germans are developing, crashes on the mysterious island of Themyscira. There he meets princess Diana, aka Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot). The two join forces and set out to win the war and in the process fall in love.

Wonder Woman Chris Pine 2Warner Bros.Give me all of Steve Trevor’s clothes.

There’s an endearing quality that Pine brings to the Trevor role that’s a mix of suave early-2oth century style (A+ costume design — I want all the clothes he wears in the movie) and self-deprecating humour. It’s rare for the love interest in these superhero movies to get the screen time to establish a well-rounded role, but director Patty Jenkins and screenwriter Allan Heinberg obviously realised the importance of what Trevor meant to the movie and to Diana.

Honestly, the movie wouldn’t be as funny or emotional if an actor of Chris Pine’s ability wasn’t in it. And, yes, I’m shocked I just wrote that.

But the truth is Chris Pine is having an incredible moment in his career right now and we feel it’s time to celebrate it.


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