I’m always intrigued by the roles that Marvel stars gravitate towards, in between their million dollar appearances in the exhilarating and exhausting cinematic universe. Chris Evans wrapped up his contract with Avengers: Endgame last year, dragging his exhausted muscles and knees to Rian Johnson’s Knives Out, with a pretty compelling performance as a handsome, rich dickhead (method? I hope not). Evans’ acting chops/ability to fill out a sweater was enough to pull $8.99 from my wallet and sign me up for the 8-part mystery series.
In Defending Jacob, Evans plays Andy Barber, lawyer and loyal father to a potentially murderous 14-year old. It’s an interesting enough mystery, making the week gap between episodes a little frustrating. It’s definitely carried by the performances, with Evans and Michelle Dockery continuously giving tired lines an undeserved weight and Jaeden Martell striking the tricky balance between innocent and terrifying teen boy. There’s no aspect of the plot that feels particularly new, but the high school setting is pretty grounded and up-to-date. The production value also appears to be pretty high, so the cinematography is slick and polished. However, no part of the directing or cinematography feels super groundbreaking. To be totally fair, there are still 3 episodes left in the series, so a massive twist could be in store. So far, gazing into Chris Evans’ eyes has done enough for me to justify the spend, probably just as Apple had hoped. It’s a good watch, but not necessary, unless you’re that invested in America’s Ass (guilty). Just peachy!
6/10: Chris Evans is hot but just watch Knives Out instead.