Alan Ritchson's 7 Best Roles That Aren't Reacher, Ranked

05 -03-2024

Alan Ritchson, who plays the drifter protagonist in Prime Video’s “Reacher,” is an absolute force. He delivers a book-accurate and compelling performance. Ritchson portrays Reacher as an incredibly strong man who is also vulnerable, and willing to change when necessary. Ritchson has a long list of performances, and while Reacher may be one of the best, they are often overlooked.

Ritchson has played a wide range of characters, both on the small and big screens. Ritchson began his acting career in the DC Comics show "Smallville," in which he was Arthur Curry/Aquaman. He reprised this role when he voiced Aquaman in the animated movie, "Justice League: The New Frontier." He then appeared in short roles on "Black Mirror," CSI: Miami," 90210, and "Hawaii-Five-0," as well as playing Hawk in the film "Titans." In addition to these brief appearances, he also voiced Aquaman in the animated film "Justice League: The New Frontier."

Ritchson has a number of early movie credits, including "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Rise of Thadland," and the reboot of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." In 2021, he also co-wrote and directed the comedy thriller "Dark Web Cicada 3301." We have a lot to cover so let's jump straight into Ritchson’s most memorable roles, in order of ascendance.

7. The Hunger Games:catching Fire

Gloss is no exception. In the "The Hunger Games", franchise, tributes from District 1 are known to be ruthless. Gloss, the winner of the 63rd Hunger Games won The Capitol's favor during the Quarter Quell because of his Career Tribute Status. The strong political alliance that existed between The Capitol and his district also worked to Gloss' advantage. Cashmere was his sister and also a winner. She joined him in the Quarter Quell to help them defeat the other Hunger Games winners. Katniss refers to Gloss as being "polite but cool" in the book, where they try and win Katniss's alliance but ultimately fail. Gloss was portrayed by Ritchson as an impressive fighter who excelled at throwing knives. She received a high rating during evaluation trials.

Gloss, Cashmere and Brutus were all part of the Career Pack in the game. They were among the most brutal characters during the first bloodbath. Ritchson is not at his best here. He balances Ritchson’s innate passion for blood with a benign complacency towards Capitol hypocrisy. Gloss is given a relatively small role in the larger scheme of "Catching Fire", but he does his best to make it work.

6. Agent Aimes : Fast X

While the latest installment in the "Fast & Furious' franchise may feel hysterically over-the-top (like its predecessors), it does deliver exactly what it promises, while focusing on a bad guy who shatters to smithereens the self seriousness of the series. Ritchson, as Aimes, brings a lot of badassness and depth to the grittier action scenes of the movie. While Jason Momoa is clearly the star of the "Fast X" film. Aimes, who replaced Mr. Nobody as the leader of the Agency quickly, harbors complex motivations towards Dom (Vin Diesel), his team and the mission that went wrong in Rome.

Ritchson's portrayal of Aimes as someone with a new-found sense of ambition and a willingness to do anything to achieve his goals is perfect. Ritchson's portrayal of Aimes is spot-on, even though the most interesting twist is at the very end. I will not spoil it. It is an absolute treat to see him play Aimes as if he were in a spy thriller where the idea of being a dual agent was the goal. Aimes makes some of the most overtly dramatic and ultimately uninspired action scenes feel grounded. His beef with Dom is more plausible when everything is engulfed by flames.

5. Hank/Hawk : Titans

The adult version of Teen Titans "Titans", while not the most interesting or creative, is still a great show. Ritchson’s Hank Hall/Hawk stands out even in the midst of corny plots and sloppy writing that span three seasons. Hawk, the classic vigilante who wants to change the world, is fueled by his darkest side. His trauma drives him into a blind obsession for justice. Ritchson is a master of blending machismo and hidden vulnerability into a ruthless vigilantism.

The most frustrating thing about "Titans," is the lack of narrative focus. It doesn't know who it is, which leads to messy storylines, and character arcs are abruptly snuffed out in favour of larger conflicts. Gotham's gritty and unforgiving environment clashes with the Titans' melodramatic battles. This leaves little room for character development or nuanced worldbuilding. Hawk suffers the same fate, and his potential to become a hero tormented by loss is wasted.

4. Arthur Curry/Aquaman Smallville

The story of "Smallville", a show that focuses exclusively on the younger Clark Kent, is told by Tom Welling. He goes through the trials of becoming Superman and dealing with the growing power of his newfound superpowers. Ritchson is Aquaman, one of several younger heroes Clark meets. His debut is pivotal in the fifth season of the series, as it sets up new stakes and takes the plot into novel directions. Arthur, after saving Lois Lane, becomes a rival to Clark. Clark is suspicious about Arthur's motives and they fight over Arthur's plan to destroy LuthorCorp’s marine facility. This fight is a miscommunication, however, because Arthur explains that LuthorCorp has been actively damaging marine life and his only goal was to help Lois Lane.

Ritchson portrays Arthur as a self-centered character, which is understandable as this version is younger and has yet to inherit the legacy of his father. Ritchson was the actor who played the DC Comics hero in this first live-action version. His portrayal showed the full potential of Arthur, aside from the role he plays in the Justice League. Ritchson's role is not one that will stick in the mind, but it is important and worth considering.

3. Shane Blackwell: Above the Shadows

Holly (Olivia Thirby) is the main character of the film "Above the Shadows". She plays a daughter who has been devastated by the death of her mother and who isolates herself completely from the outside world. This meeting with Shane, a former MMA fighter (Ritchson) reignites Holly's lust for living while exploring the complex emotional issues that arise from being unfairly rejected by society. The story has a touch of magic realist, with love acting as a gateway to a better, more kinder future. Both Thirby and Ritchson bring this tale to life.

Ritchson portrayal is compelling and sincere enough, even though it's a flawed exploration into personal desires which often conflict with the world's perceptions. It highlights his ability to play more complex characters that require an understanding of loss. The film, when viewed as a complete work, presents a number of thoughtful concepts about how grief and identity are intertwined and contribute to our sense of self-worth and desire. It is an emotional journey worth watching, despite a few contrived moments.

2. Arthur Bailey Blood Drive

Blood Drive is one of the shows with a niche appeal. It has satirical grindhouse elements and is set in a dystopian alternative world (despite it being in 1999). The environment in the alternate Earth is worse than the one we live in, because a giant corporation exploits a ravine that divides the Mississippi, called The Scar. Ritchson plays a Reacheresque character here, as LA Police Officer Arthur Bailey. He must participate in a deadly death race on cars that run on blood to uncover the dark secrets of government conspiracy and evil schemes by the megacorporation called Heart Enterprises.

Ritchson is known for his dramatic performances, but this one as Arthur was quite different. He got to embrace the absurd premise and do something completely new. Ritchson is a dynamic performer, but "Blood Drive", despite its outlandish elements, never fails to entertain. It would be great to see Ritchson take on more horror-adjacent projects with a tongue in cheek attitude and sharp, smart writing.

1. Ed Schmitt - Ordinary Angels

Ritchson gives a stellar performance in "Ordinary Angels," his latest film, which stars Hilary Swank as well as Nancy Travis. Swank stars as Sharon in this faith-based film. She is a hairdresser from a small town who uses alcohol to get through her day. But when she learns about ill children who have recently lost their mothers, it inspires her to change. Ritchson is Ed, the distraught husband of the woman who died. He is too damaged to work and understandably suspicious of Sharon's interest in his family. Ritchson invests a lot of emotional energy into the character, which is commendable.

Ritchson's Ed, who conveys the turmoil of his character through his subtle body language, is a refreshing departure from his usual characters, which speak in an overtly dramatic manner or use their fists. The film's drabmer aspects are elevated by the emotional vulnerability between Sharon and Ed. It feels authentic, without feeling too dramatic or sentimental. Ritchson can inhabit complex characters that thrive on unspoken nuances. It is time for the star of "Reacher", who is capable of doing so, to get the chance to play roles inherently challenging or eccentric.

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