Movie Review: FREEDOM FIGHTERS: THE RAY (Blu-ray Combo Pack)

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.

FREEDOM FIGHTERS: THE RAY was directed by Ethan Spaulding from a script written by Emilio Ortega Aldrich, Lauren Certo, Marc Guggenheim, Sarah Hernandez, Elizabeth Kim and Sarah Tarkoff. (Arrow, Vixen). Curt Geda is the producer, and the executive producers are Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim.

The voice cast includes Russell Tovey as The Ray/Ray Terrill, Jason Mitchell as Black Condor/John Trujillo, Dilshad Vadsaria as Phantom Lady/Jenny Knight, Melissa Benoist as Overgirl, and Megalyn Echikunwoke as Vixen. The voice cast also spotlights Arrow actor Echo Kellum (Curtis Holt/Mr. Terrific) and The Flash actors Danielle Panabaker (Dr. Caitlin Snow) and Carlos Valdez (Cisco Ramon/Vibe), reprising their live-action series roles in animated form. The cast also includes Iddo Goldberg as Red Tornado, Sunil Malhotra as Jacob, Matthew Mercer as Dollman/Green Arrow/Black Arrow, Colleen O’Shaughnessy as Mrs. Terrill, Laura Post as Resistance Gunner, Christopher Corey Smith as Donald, Bruce Thomas as Mr. Terrill, and Scott Whyte as The Flash/Blitzkrieg.

All his life, Ray Terrill has fought injustice, dreaming of making a real difference like his older brother, a Marine who was killed in Afghanistan. One day, he stumbles upon a dying Super Hero from another Earth and is stunned to find that this Super Hero looks just like him—because it is! The dying Ray Terrill of Earth-X transfers photokinetic energy to this Earth’s Ray, making him a Super Hero – The Ray. However, Ray quickly learns being a Super Hero isn’t all hanging muggers from streetlamps and fighting giant robots. As the evil Nazi New Reichsman of Earth-X, led by Overgirl, close in, The Ray must learn to harness his powers by coming to terms with his true self, even if that means also finally coming out of the closet to his parents. The fate of Earth-X depends on it!

The acclaimed CW Seed animated series, turned feature-length presentation, follows Ray Terrell who accidentally inherits these super powers that gives him the power of light and flight. Ray is a 20-something gay man that’s been hiding his sexuality from his conservative parents as well as his social life (except for his best friend) because of his shyness because he just doesn’t want to deal with any extra drama. He’s also having some problems at work thanks to a crooked politician’s empty promises so when he’s given these powers even more drama ends up presenting itself in the form of super villains. There’s a war going on Earth-X and those pesky Super Nazis find out about Ray who gets paid a surprise visit by Overgirl. Once this happens Ray knows what he has to do so he begins to practice and learn more about his new found abilities plus he gets a little help from some familiar faces from the DCU. What happens is, Ray ends up going to Earth-X and this is where he meets the resistance that’s been fighting against the Nazi threat and even though he’s an outsider from another Earth, he fits right in and joins the battle of good versus evil.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/o-card. The front features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. Each disc is color coded and features the movie logo. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for the high-definition disc were crisp and clear. The picture and sound quality for the standard-definition disc were really good. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Freedom Fighters: The Ray serves as an animated prequel to the character we first met in the Arrowverse live-action crossover event, Crisis on Earth-X.  What the CW Seed webisodes do is serve as an origin story that’s collected as an all-new animated movie that reveals more about this gay superhero and his past. I liked this part of the story because it deals with how he’s been hiding this from his loving parents and hasn’t really even acted on his sexuality in public because of his shyness. This is a likable character who’s dealing with a lot personally and professionally so when he accidentally gets these super powers it just adds more pressure on him even though he eventually gets the hang of it. What I didn’t like about the story is the sleazy way Hollywood sneaks in their political agenda. The producers and writers have to remember that not everyone sees things they way they do from their protective bubble and there’s a chance they could alienate some of their audience with this one-sided agenda of theirs. Besides that, I enjoyed this new animated adventure that features some lessor known characters as well as several fan favorites who show up to lend a hand. This is also my favorite style of animation from DC and WB. Freedom Fighters: The Ray will be available on Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital) on August 28th.

Distributor: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Run Time: 73 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition 16×9 Widescreen (1.78:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio  5.1 / Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1

DVD Video: 16×9 Widescreen (1.78:1)

DVD Audio: English and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish

Special Features: The extras include an Interview with Russell Tovey, the Voice of The Ray (01:55), Trailers (05:07) and a Digital Copy of the movie.



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