Movie Review: ‘Entourage’
Director: Doug Ellin
Cast: Kevin Connolly, Adrien Grenier, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara, Jeremy Piven, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Perry Reeves, Rex Lee…basically the Hollywood phone book in cameos.
Plot: Ari Gold is now the head of Warner Brothers (not that I remember them calling it that in the movie…) and is taking a chance with his first production – letting Vinnie Chase star and direct. This is the project that could sink them all, and they have to balance studio politics with their personal lives.
Review: The first thing you may have noticed with that plot description is that it’s pretty much the plot of every season of the TV series Entourage, on which this movie is based. That’s fine, though, we get what we paid for. More on that in a moment, first we’re going to review this as a stand alone movie.
In spite of the opening scenes providing a Piers Morgan segment on the main characters and providing each of their backstories, there’s not a lot for new viewers to connect with. The characters are shallow and don’t go through much character development. There are numerous plot threads started that go absolutely nowhere, such as a leaked sex tape sub-plot that only serves to have a character get really angry, then there’s no follow up, resolution of consequences. Narratively the whole thing is a jumble, lurching forward in time without clear transitions and leaving many plots hanging.
But what the movie delivers in spades is the Entourage experience. What exactly is that? For those who haven’t seen the show we follow Vincent Chase, hot young Hollywood star, and his group of friends as they socialise and live it up in the City of Angels. The experience of watching Entourage is what I’m going to call ‘Hollywood Porn’. There’s something of a mystical fantasy about what being in the biz amounts to – sexy bodies, wild parties, fast cars, powerful people and lots of money to throw about. Watching the show and the movie is a travelogue of this world, right down to the dozens of real celebrities who turn out to populate Vinnie’s house parties in rapid fire cameos.
Entourage the series ended on a bad note. After all the ups and downs of the characters lives the final half season gave all the characters fairy tale endings that felt pretty cheap. The movie seems aware of this and ret-cons all the finale stuff right out of the way in the first scene. Vince’s marriage lasted nine days, Drama’s animated show got canned and everything is back to normal ignoring that Turtle lost a lot of weight in the nine days that have passed since season 8.
All the gang are back and they’re still chasing their personal, immensely superficial dreams. It’s hard to become fully invested in their stories with such shallow, egotistical characters so it’s a good thing they’re funny while they’re at it. The laughs stack up pretty well and range from poking fun at the Hollywood lifestyle, the characters insulting each other and an endless string of cameos. There was plenty of laughter in the cinema throughout the movie. It looked awfully pretty as well. There’s some great looking locations, some awesome cars and lots of hot extras and gratuitous nudity.
Although most of the celebrity appearances are brief, we have former child star Haley Joel Osment as the movie antagonist. As the son of a Texas millionaire funding Chase’s movie, he’s got the job of approving the film for more funding. As the petty, annoying douchebag he could not be more fun. You’ll love to hate him in this role.
If you’ve never enjoyed the show, this will not change your mind. As an Entourage fan wanting amends for the disappointing series finale this is spot on. Funny, nice to look at and a reminder of why we loved the show in the first place. Good job, team. We even get to see the Mentos ad!
Score: EIGHT out of TEN (as a fan!)