RAYMOND & RAY
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Ethan Hawke, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Maribel Verde, and Sophie Okonedo
Director: Rodrigo García
Although Ewan McGregor and Ethan Hawke give fine performances, Raymond & Ray struggles to stand out. There are some comedic moments and quirky elements, but beyond that, it's a film that just sort of happens, underscored by an out-of-place hotel lounge score. The pairing of McGregor and Hawke sparked excitement, but the lackluster story and characters let them down. Unfortunately, for me, Raymond & Ray will mostly be remembered as a film that didn't take full advantage of its cast. It’s another case of what could have been.
You’ve heard the old saying “two wrongs don’t make a right.” Well, two great actors don’t necessarily make an entertaining movie either. Despite being a character dramedy with a premise brimming with black comedic potential for Ethan Hawke and Ewan McGregor, Raymond & Ray is extremely flat and a minor labor to watch. The story is generally uneventful, featuring bland characters that belie the natural charisma of the two stars. I don’t want to say Hawke and McGregor are phoning it in, but frankly, they just aren’t given much to do except show up. That alone can’t save this sluggish, anticlimactic, and boring misfire.
Part of me enjoyed Raymond & Ray, while other parts of me did not. Ethan Hawke and Ewan McGregor are very good, they work well off each other, and they created a genuine feeling of a brotherly bond in a story full of increasingly crazy moments. I ate that up the most. However, it ultimately overstays its welcome. Once the main plot ends, it just keeps going for some reason, and I wasn’t really enjoying myself anymore. So, while there is enough here to recommend, there isn’t enough for me to watch it again.
This film was reviewed by Nick, Quentin, and Adriano as part of Bitesize Breakdown's coverage of the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival.