Ordinary Angels


If you asked before 2022 who Alan Ritchson is, you’d probably be greeted with ‘who?’. If you asked today however, well, you’d probably be met with the same response, in all fairness. But if you add ‘you know Jack Reacher’, then you’d probably hear back ‘oh, that guy’.

That just goes to show what the power of one successful show can do for a career.

Anyone who has seen Jack Reacher on Prime Video will know that Ritchson is a Hulk of a man, and certainly has the physique for action roles. Which makes it more of a surprise is to see him in this drama, without throwing a single punch.

boom reviews Ordinary Angels
So you're telling me you're not Jack Reacher in real life?!

After the death of his wife, Ed (Ritchson) finds himself in the position of having to look after his young daughters Ashley (Skywalker Hughes) and Michelle (Emily Mitchell). It’s not easy raising them on his own, made worse by the fact his youngest Michelle is dangerously ill herself, in desperate need of a new liver.

She needs a lot of medical treatment, and as he doesn’t have health insurance, it’s not cheap.

And then local hairdresser Sharon (Hilary Swank) hears their story, and despite having her own problems, with an estranged son and alcohol, she decides that she has to help Ed and the girls somehow.

Ed, being a proud man, is initially weary of Sharon’s offer of help, but she doesn’t really give him much choice, as she single-handedly attempts to turn all their of lives around.

boom reviews Ordinary Angels
That's it now, wave goodbye to any credibility I may have had.

Make no mistake, despite the calibre of the cast, including two-time Oscar winner Swank, this is nothing more than a superior Hallmark channel movie of the week. Director Jon Gunn appears to be on a mission from God, as he helms a certain type of film, with titles such as Do You Believe? and The Case for Christ, as well as writing I Still Believe and the poor Jesus Revolution. So it’s safe to assume he’s a paid up member of the God Squad.

Thankfully, as this film is based on a true story, it leans more on the power of human spirit than that of any almighty entity, which makes it more palatable all round. Of course Gunn manages to slip in some religious elements here and there, but it doesn’t feel so much like a recruitment drive for Christianity like many of his previous work.

Of course the material is lifted with a talented cast, including two very good young child actors, and Ritchson does well in just playing the dad who doesn’t say much, but just wants to look after his family, without the need for one single bar fight.

Regardless of your faith or lack of thereof, Ordinary Angels still works as a warm and uplifting tale of a community coming together for the greater good. And if this means that you may end up shedding a tear or two, which there’s a distinct possibility of happening, just don’t be so hard on yourself. And we won’t tell if you won’t.

we give this three out of five