“Raymond & Ray” follows half-brothers Raymond and Ray who have lived in the shadow of a terrible father. Somehow, they still each have a sense of humor, and his funeral is a chance for them to reinvent themselves. There’s anger, there’s pain, there’s folly, there might be love, and there’s definitely grave-digging.
What We Thought:
When I first got the invite to see Raymond & Ray I had no idea what it was. I saw that Ethan Hawke and Ewan McGregor were in it and overall I think both actors are more hit than miss. I watched the trailer and thought it looked like a fun dark comedy. I was hoping for an unexpected surprise. Unfortunately I got a dull film that no one seems to care about.
That’s the biggest issue with the film, no one in it seems to be trying. The lead actors could do these types of roles in their sleep and it seems like they did. Each performance is lackluster and seems phoned in which brings the whole movie down.
The trailer definitely makes the film seem more comedic than what it is as well. I laughed a couple of times, but it’s more a drama than dark comedy. It barely has comedic elements. Yes I know it’s about two brothers dealing with their father’s death, that’s dramatic, but watch the trailer above and tell me it doesn’t come across as comedic.
There’s also a lot of parts that don’t pan out by the film’s end. McGregor’s character knocks on the doorway a few times which makes it seem like he’s a bit OCD or at least has a tick. Other than showing him doing it nothing more comes of it. There are two brothers at the funeral who do gymnastic type stuff who ultimately serve no purpose or bring anything to the table. The entire film feels like a good idea that went horribly wrong either while filming or in the editing room.
When I walked out of Raymond & Ray the first thing I said was “Who is the audience for this film?” because I’m genuinely not sure. Hawke and McGregor have a following, but the theme of the film is geared towards a 40+ crowd and I don’t see them even knowing about the movie. If anyone watches it it’s because they see Hawke and McGregor in the movie and wonder what it is. They will hit play, but will they watch all the way through? It’s so slow and dull I don’t know if they will. It’s 100% a misfire for me which makes me sad it wasn’t the unexpected surprise I wanted it to be.
Director: Rodrigo Garcia
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Ewan McGregor, Maribel Verdú, Sophie Okonedo, Tom Bower, Vondie Curtis Hall
Writer: Rodrigo Garcia
Producers: Alfonso Cuarón, Bonnie Curtis, Julie Lynn
Executive Producers: Shea Kammer, Gabriela Rodriguez