What matters most about the feature-length addendum Ray Donovan: The Movie is that it truly represents Ray Donovan: The Ending. And if you think it will be a happy one, you haven’t met Ray (star and cowriter Liev Schreiber).
Regardless, this is a gift for fans who were stunned when Showtime abruptly canceled the dark and violent drama after seven seasons. Picking up from 2020’s bloody cliffhanger, when poor Smitty (Graham Rogers) was left bleeding out on the street while Mickey (Jon Voight) fled with pricey documents belonging to the rival Sullivan clan, this long-anticipated chapter delivers a final reckoning between moody fixer Ray and his scurrilous dad.
The Donovans, broken as ever, are left picking up the pieces as they attend yet another funeral and during a rowdy wake contend with the legacy of Mickey, whose neglect and abuse of his offspring (indelibly played by Eddie Marsan, Dash Mihok and Pooch Hall) have left generations of psychic scars. “Why is it so easy for you to forget?” newly widowed daughter Bridget (Kerris Dorsey) challenges Ray, who has forgotten nothing.
While he spends much of the film hunting the renegade Mickey, Ray is lost in memories of their turbulent past, with dramatic flashbacks that prove to be far more satisfying than in last year’s so-so Sopranos prequel. The difference being that The Many Saints of Newark was a story that wasn’t screaming to be told, while Ray Donovan: The Movie fills in essential details of the events causing the rift between responsible young Ray (Chris Gray) and swaggering dad Mickey (the charismatic Bill Heck), haunting Ray into his adulthood.
To the end, Ray Donovan is about the damage done by sins of the father, with redemption coming at a terrible cost.
Ray Donovan: The Movie, Premiere, Friday, January 14, 9/8c, Showtime