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‘Raymond & Ray’ Review: Ethan Hawke and Ewan McGregor Take a Bumpy Road Trip
Tomris Laffly Imagine a domineering father so dead set on messing with his two sons’ heads that he gives them both the same name. The ghost of one such dad haunts Rodrigo García’s “Raymond & Ray,” a tired, mild-mannered road trip drama that does the opposite of taking the path less traveled. Portraying the two Rays, stars Ethan Hawke and Ewan McGregor might have some audience pull once this Apple TV+ title settles into its streaming home. But in following the two leads’ emotionally messy characters as they half-heartedly embark on a mission to reconcile with their past, the film has little original to offer. You’ll recognize the stock story as soon as Raymond (McGregor) pulls into Ray’s driveway one stormy night and stonily announces to his polar-opposite half-brother (Hawke), whom he hasn’t seen in years, “Our father is dead.” Yes, there will indeed be scores to settle from the past, secrets that will pour out and shades of familial grief that will rise to the surface against the odds, as the brothers learn to accept their late parent, a man both wretchedly abusive and charismatically unknowable. If only García, similarly ham-fisted with his 2020 addiction drama “Four Good Days,” were a touch livelier in stewing these familiar elements, or at least gave us a reason or two to feel for these brothers on a melancholic journey of discovery. Instead, “Raymond & Ray” is curiously alienating despite the two A-listers in the driver seat, some decent chuckles to spare and a handsome, cinematic finish courtesy of DP Igor Jadue-Lillo.
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