Published on June 7th, 2015 | by Curtis Mayfield
Entourage – Film Review
Reviewed by Curtis Mayfield M-H on June 1st, 2015
Roadshow presents a film by Doug Ellin
Written by Doug Ellin (screenplay & story) and Rob Weiss (story)
Produced by Doug Ellin, Stephen Levinson and Mark Wahlberg
Starring: Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara, Ronda Rousey, Jeremy Piven and Haley Joel Osment
Music by Scott Vener
Cinematography: Steven Fierberg
Edited by Jeff Groth
Running Time: 104 minutes
Release Date: June 4th, 2015
Within the first 10 minutes of the movie version of Entourage, almost everything that happened in the finale of the HBO TV series becomes void. If you haven’t seen the finale of the series then it’s time to catch up because the show ended back when Julia Gillard was PM and people were still trying to figure out how to pronounce Gotye’s name. The movie picks up right where the show finished, even though that was almost four years ago. Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) is continuing to live the male teenage fantasy of being a movie star that we witnessed in the TV show. E (Kevin Connolly) is going through the motions of his on again, off again relationship with Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui). Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) is well…Turtle and Johnny “Drama” Chase (Kevin Dillon) is still battling with his mediocre acting skills and second-rate career. And of course, the cast’s crème of the crop is ever present in the form of the not so politically correct but lovable manager, Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven). The movie edition of Entourage follows the same formula the show did and that includes Ari being the best character (even if he is the racist, homophobic, boss from hell). The comparisons between the show are plentiful. Vince faces a problem, therefore his crew of loyal childhood friends face a problem too. The particular obstacle now is to get more money to finish a film that Vince is directing and keeping his brother, Drama, from being cut out of the final edit. What makes the movie different from the show is the way it’s presented. Director (and creator of the show) Doug Ellin puts all the camera angles and cinema magic into this to give it that silver screen feel.
In order to market to audiences who didn’t watch the show, Ellin and co-writer Rob Weiss, create a tight journalistic piece by Piers Morgan that is both fictional and informative. The “news story” introduces and reintroduces all of the characters so no viewer gets lost along the way. Though really, there isn’t much depth to these characters anyway but they are extremely loyal, which gives you that warm fuzzy feeling that everybody in Hollywood is kind and not cut throat at all…well besides Ari. It’s also nice to see the endearing losers like Turtle go from being “a fat weed head who mooched off Vince for years” to living next door to Spielberg thanks to his former tequila business going public. Vince as always has the world at his feet and is trying to get his movie Hyde into action but doubts his own directorial skills. In order to get the movie done he needs millions of dollars from the higher ups. The investors are country bred father and son businessmen played by Billy Bob Thornton and Haley Joel Osment. Osment does such a great job of playing the gun toting hard-headed heir to the throne of a very powerful company, so much so you’ll be asking “The Sixth what?”. Combine that with his role in Tusk from last year and you might have a movie career jump-start on your hands.
There are several side stories that keep both the audience interested and gives the side characters enough screen time. E is going through a crisis of figuring out whether or not he wants to bang hot girls at pool parties or be committed to his pregnant ex-partner Sloan. Though E has the tendency to be a man-whore he still does good deeds like going to Lamaze classes in order to be a good father. Why Sloan keeps putting up with E’s infidelity and indecisiveness is a head scratcher. Quick soap opera fun fact: E slept with Sloan’s step mum to get back at her. Hmmmmm. Even though I questioned his methods I still wished the best for E and his future family. Damn you Doug Ellin and your persuasive writing. The many thorns that prick into Ari’s side make for hilarious outcomes. His ex-assistant Lloyd (Rex Lee) is getting married to another man and wants Ari to give him away at the wedding. Let the hilariously inappropriate gay jokes begin. Ari’s wife is still making him go to couples counseling while he tries to juggle family commitments and being the future head of a movie studio. Combining that with Vince’s movie money troubles and you get some of the funniest/foulest things said by the human tongue along with a smashed framed photo of a kitty to boot. From the safety of a cinema seat it’s easy to appreciate Ari and admit that he is one of the most engaging television and movie characters, even if he would be the worst human being in real life.
What makes this the equivalent of a 2-hour long episode is that it follows the premise of: Vince and crew encounter a problem, they talk about it for a bit, then presto, the group of bros are better off than they were before. Not to mention the hilarious amount of 45-second celebrity cameos playing themselves that rack up during the movie. Entourage should keep long term fans happy while possibly grabbing some new ones along the way, or totally scaring them off, it’s hard to tell at this point. The film walks a thin line between being an interesting behind the scenes look into how the movie world works and its often-questionable red tape, while also being a frat boy’s ultimate dream. Case in point: a scene on a private boat party where movie ideas are being discussed while naked models wonder about. Informative scenarios and boobs rolled into one instance.
Summary: Entourage should keep long term fans happy while possibly grabbing some new ones along the way, or totally scaring them off, it’s hard to tell at this point.