Reggie White in Reggie's Prayer (1996)

Coach Knox

American football star Reggie Knox (Reggie White) had a powerful dream one night, a dream which would change his destiny. With a great career stretching out in front of him and the commentators box there for the taking when he calls time Reggie surprises everyone when suddenly he calls a press conference to announce he is retiring from the sport to teach history and coach football at a Portland High School. Quickly Reggie finds his enthusiasm for making a difference in the life of his young students knocked by the Principal (Pat Morita) who has seen this sort of enthusiasm before. But with God on his side Reggie will not be deterred and he not only aims to bring discipline to the classroom as well as on the field but sets about helping some specific troubled students.

As a Brit I have not had much interest in the NFL and as such I had never heard of Reggie White before I sat down to watch "Reggie's Prayer" and he seems to be a man with a real sense of conviction putting his heart, soul and love of God in to what he does. And if that is the case you can't knock him because you need people with that sort of passion and faith in this world. But sadly it does not work so well on the screen because at times Reggie White comes across like a bull in the china shop as Reggie Knox in this faith based movie. Just his hands on approach to teaching is surprising and combined with other moments of what comes across as forceful exuberance it makes "Reggie's Prayer" seem a little heavy handed.

In fairness Reggie White's acting is not the only issue in "Reggie's Prayer" and the acting throughout is often hit and miss although with some familiar faces, such as Pat Morita, there is something pretty enjoyable about the casting as well as the characters. The thing is that the hit and miss nature of the acting affects the moving and inspirational power of the movie greatly and so whilst there is a motivational side to "Reggie's Prayer" as well as a strong Christian message it often doesn't quite make its point because of the acting issues.

What this all boils down to is that is "Reggie's Prayer" is first and fore mostly a good movie, the power of the story and its intentions are strong enough to keep it at a certain level. But issues with the acting throughout frequently cause it to struggle to get its point across and work as well as it could have.