Freedom Fighters: The Ray

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I own this movie on DVD.

This is an odd one. It's set in the Arrow-verse but also not. It supposed to serve as a prequel to the Crisis story line in the Arrow-verse but done animated. Several of the cast in those shows come back to voice their respective characters, but not all of them.
This was done as a 12 episode TV mini series but spliced together as a movie on the DVD. It appears the animation and story was rushed, and it shows.
The animation of the mouths are especially weird, as the upper lips on most of the characters are shaded too dark and it just makes everybody look like they have a really thick mustache for an upper lip... Especially The Ray.

This story can't keep track of itself. It's supposed to be about a new superhero trying to learn his powers, and come to terms with himself and his place in this world. Or the other one. However the film quickly devolves into more of a political agenda film more interested in Ray struggling to come out to his parents that he is gay and how him not doing so is making it so he can't effectively use his powers.
The Councilman figure he works for is a very unrealistic character in today's word, even publicly stating on TV they wish to have a community built of people only they see as desirable and actively evicts people who are different like Muslims.
Honestly, he would have fit in perfectly as a character on the Nazi overrun Earth X, but being a high office holding figure on the modern Earth 1 set just doesn't work and him having been able to keep his office.

It's all done as a plot device to ram into your head that the main character is gay and that him coming out to his parents is the real struggle here...

You know, and not that he has the super brain of a robot from another universe over run by Nazis and that those Nazis are actively looking for it and threaten his world and the multiverse... Oh no, that's not important at all. No the Nazi Supergirl with Hitler's ideals wanting to raise the Nazi flag over all the Multiverse isn't important at all. What we must focus on most of all is how ever will Ray come out of the closet to his parents, stop a Councilman from shutting down his humanitarian department and trying to keep his new powers secret from his secret boyfriend. Yeah, that's the more important story! Screw the Supergirl Nazi that threatens everything in existence, We must make sure his parents find out he's gay in a special way.

Then there is the issue of it taking place supposedly in the same continuity as the Arrow-verse. Most of it I can see... and I may be wrong on this as so far I've only seen seasons 1-3 of Arrow and seasons 1 of Flash. But in the movie they suddenly have to go off and fight a giant.... robot that's rampaging through the city. Like building size robot and have to stop it with a web of laser arrows. This kind of thing would work fine in an animated film like this sure. But this is supposed to be in the same universe as Arrow and The Flash. Which would mean that you could have done this movie fully in live action and it would have fit. But I can't see a giant robot like that in this very cartoony fight happening in the Arrow-verse and be taken seriously as a story at all.

Honestly this doesn't really feel like a Superhero movie, but feels more like a coming to terms with sexuality movie and political agenda that had a Superhero skin put on it and forced into the Arrow-verse. It doesn't flow, it gets distracted by itself and has it's priorities all wrong.
These two things could potentially go good together, but this film does not pull it off.
I only give it a 3 star rating because it's not a terrible movie and when the story is focus on the hero stuff it does get pretty good at some points. And the exchanges between Cisco and Ray are hilarious.
Just when the movie switches gears to force it's political agenda, it comes to a grinding halt and then the animation of character lips looking like mustaches, even on the girls, is just super distracting.

And then I come to the thing that really rubs me the wrong way with this film. I had to come back and edit this part of the review after I gave it some more thought and I'm downgrading my rating to two stars because of this.
The main character, Ray, portrays himself as the victim and is put in a position of the film where the film makes want you to think he's the social justice warrior fighting for equality and all that... when the character is actually a huge dick.
And there are a few examples of why I say this.
Number 1. He doesn't fight for his man. After he admits to his boyfriend in the film, Jacob, that he can't come out to his parents because they are "very conservative" Jacob basically breaks up with him on the spot because he doesn't want to be a dirty little secret. Which I understand. Ray doesn't say anything back and just lets him walk away. He just sulks and this causes him to doubt himself more and struggle with his powers which forces the whole point of he can't master his powers until he accepts himself as gay angle of the film. And at the end, he never goes back to make things right with Jacob.

Number 2. He abuses his powers to get what he wants. Yeah, it might be seen as a way of getting social justice for this moment, but it doesn't excuse the fact of what he does. The Councilmen shuts down his humanitarian department so he can't help people any more. What does Ray do? He tries to right a wrong with another wrong. Once he gets his powers, he breaks into the Councilmen's office, literally breaking in through the window, and threatens him and blackmails him into opening the department back up. Not a very heroic thing to do... but the movie plays it up that it was. And his friend even calls him out on this but he just shrugs it off. This also never plays into the film again. We never see the department reinstated and only just hear a press conference the following day of the Councilmen turning over a new leaf... We never see any other positive benefits of this... nor any bad ones. The Ray gets away with this scott free with no consequences what so ever. Some role model there, kids. Black mail and threaten your politicians to push them into making changes that YOU think is right, whether you are or aren't.

Number 3. And this is the biggest issue for me. So in the film after Overgirl beats the crap out of him and gets away with Red Tornado's cortex, he finally comes clean to his parents and tells them he is gay. They accept him completely. Tell him their love for him is unconditional and that they are happy if he is happy. That's all they want. Things are going good for him. So then after Ray goes over to Earth X and fights off the Nazis... he decides he's needed more there and won't return home. Well that's all good and all, but he refuses Vibe offering to send him back to Earth 1. So what's the big deal? Okay so Vibe and Cisco are the same person on Earth X or Earth 1, and each has the ability to send Ray back and forth between universes. Ray refuses to go back home, where he left his parents with no clue as to what happened to him. They don't know he's a superhero now. They don't know he's gone over to another dimension to fight super Nazis and save some other Earth. He just came out of the closet to them and they accepted him whole heartedly unconditionally. And this was after Overgirl blew a hole in their home through Ray's upstairs room and he took off. This hole never got fixed so he took off leaving them worried with not knowing where he is, and left them with massive property damage that they have no way of explaining. He leaves behind Jacob also, never making things right just so he could stay in another world and fight Nazis. He has the ability to travel back and forth with Vibe and Cisco and make things right in his own life and have time to fight Nazis... but he doesn't. He leaves his parents sitting after they did so much for him and accepted him after he came out to them.
I'm sorry but this guy just really rubs me the wrong way and I'm giving this movie a two star because of this.

To clear the air, my political, religious, and sexual views are not what is influencing this review. It's the content of the movie, the message it's trying to get across and the very messed up bad way it's doing it with flawed characters and logic and bad animation that are causing this review.

Mistake Status: Skimmed through it on a viewing to find a few mistakes here and there and get the film established on this site. I will go back through it much more thoroughly later on when it comes this movie's turn in my rotation.

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Other mistake: After Ray patches up his shoulder from being shot, he heads out answering a call from Jacob. As he's talking he gets hit in the neck by a sleep dart and his phone is shown. The screen still shows an incoming call, rather than one in progress. (00:38:20)

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More mistakes in Freedom Fighters: The Ray

[Red Tornado's hologram appears.]
John Trujillo: Wait wait wait wait! What's going on, Ray!?
Ray Terrill: How should I know?
John Trujillo: It's your weirdo paper weight from crazy town! This is exactly what you should know.

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More quotes from Freedom Fighters: The Ray

Question: If Overgirl is Supergirl from Earth X, and Supergirl gets her powers the same way that Superman does, from sunlight, then how is The Ray, whose powers are based on using yellow light, able to hurt her with his powers? Wouldn't his blasts help her?

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Answer: My understanding is the Ray uses pure light for his powers while Superman and Supergirl get their power from the solar energy of a yellow sun, not yellow light.


I see. But if it was from pure light, wouldn't his powers have a white glow and not a yellow glow?

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Most likely just a styling choice. I just know the basics details of his powers and not sure why it comes out yellow (or if it's even stated.) Perhaps for the the same reason the sun appears yellow, short wavelength light becomes scattered.


More questions & answers from Freedom Fighters: The Ray

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