Entourage: Film Review
Cast: Adrian Grenier, Jeremy Piven, Kevin Connolly, Jerry Ferrara, Kevin Dillon, Rex Lee
Director: Doug Ellin
Entourage's big screen debut may be about star cameos (Kelsey Grammar mocking therapy, George Takei officiating a wedding, Jean Reno simply standing there) and breasts to butts ratio but it feels like nothing more than an extended episode of the HBO TV series which ended back in 2011.
In the film, everything that wrapped up the TV series is undone as Vince's marriage has unravelled, Ari's coming out of retirement and E and Sloan are having a baby together, while not being together. Ari's first job as studio head is to give Vince a directorial role on their first picture - but the ensuing budget issues and problems with the film's Texan financiers threatens to send both Ari and Vince to the dumpster.
There's an incredible feeling of deja vu in Entourage aka the male Sex and The City as it feels like the film has recycled several plots from the series' run. Remember when Vincent Chase faced ruin for his involvement in a movie that could destroy him and his crew (Medellin, anyone?). Meanwhile Drama finds himself in trouble (again), Turtle chases down a crush (Ronda Rousey) and E suffers more will he / won't he with Sloane that bogged down large chunks of the TV show way back when. (Newcomers to the series need not worry - a smart use of Piers Morgan to recap the group as part of a TV profile proves a successful diving in point)
But while the bromance is still as fluid as it always was between the quartet thanks to Doug Ellin's writing and instinct for the guys, it all feels a little passe. Jeremy Piven's highly strung, expletive spouting studio exec remains the high point of the flick, giving his venomously homophobic, sexist and racist agent the spiteful edge he always teetered around as he spouts F bombs and verges on an on-screen stroke. (To be fair, it's the same as Ari has ever been, but Piven gives so much energy to the part, it's contagious)
Callbacks to the show's history and characters ensure there's a faith to the narrative and a reward to the fans but I'm sorry to say (and speaking as a fan of the show), this overlong and empty piece does feel like a greatest hits (and tits) package that's been reconstituted for 2015, which in parts feels empty and lacking. Some of the problem is the same as the series with the stakes never really being high enough for the guys - and it's curious to note that the newer elements to the movie such as Haley Joel Osment's hillbilly snot financier is one of the more fleshed out characters.
But if you're a fan of the show, you won't have a problem being invited back to the party, spotting the celebs and hanging with the bros as they ogle bikini-clad (or occasionally not) babes, wallow in their self-centred lives and watch them generally coast along with continuing degrees of success. The satire of Hollywood's excesses that presented so much promise in the early part of the series is completely thrown out of the window here as the recycled story trots out over 100 minutes.
It's sad to say that Entourage feels like it's had its time and as the film progresses, you begin to care less and less about the group - it feels like a TV movie that made its way to the big screen by mistake and squandered its moment in the spotlight.
Entourage is not entirely unwatchable if you're a fan of the show, but if it was ever to be more successful, its attempts to widen the net and attract newcomers to the party feel like a wasted opportunity, thanks to this entirely safe visualisation of the male wish fulfillment fantasy on the big screen.