Review: Entourage

5 10

PLOT: When Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) is given a major studio to run, his first act of business is to bankroll Vincent Chase's (Adrian Grenier) directorial debut, a $100 million plus extravaganza. When it runs over budget, Vince, Eric (Kevin Connolly), Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) and Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon) have to battle the studio for control over the film, which threatens to end both Vince and Ari's careers.

REVIEW: I should preface this review by noting that there's really only one audience for this film, which should be obvious enough. If you're not a fan of HBO's Entourage, there's absolutely no point in checking this out as it's 100% fan service. No more of an effort has been made here than there was in the last big HBO franchise to jump to the big screen – SEX & THE CITY – to bring in an audience that didn't follow the show. If you loved the show, chances are you'll probably enjoy this. If you didn't watch the show, you won't know what the heck is going on, and you won't care.

But what about those of us who liked the show at one point, but then got over it as the show went on? That's the category I fall into, as I checked out sometime during the second-to-last season. I never actively disliked it, I just didn't care. The important question is whether or not this brings Doug Ellin's beloved saga back to the basics, or at least what made the show popular in the first place – that it was clever, well-written wish-fulfillment that made all of us feel like Hollywood insiders, even if the version of Hollywood they were selling was pure fantasy.

Surprisingly, the film doesn't do that. It's purely an extension of where the finale left off. You feel like you're binge watching a condensed season. Nothing more is at stake here than there's ever been, with the only threat being that Vinnie and Ari's career's may be in jeopardy, while Eric pines for his former flame Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui) – who's now pregnant with his child. Basically, same old, same old.

ENTOURAGE is actually kind of fun and entertaining – for exactly twenty minutes. Basically, it's good for the length of one episode, but after that it just drags on with very little happening. The idea here is that Vince's movie – an EDM modernization of Jekyll & Hyde – is some kind of masterpiece, but is in jeopardy because the co-financiers, a Texas billionaire (Billy Bob Thornton) and his son (Haley Joel Osment) don't want to kick in any funds. The main conflict here is with Osment's bratty spawn, who's bent on destroying Vince for some perceived slight. He's a walking Hollywood nightmare, and to give credit where it's due, Osment is actually great. Since The Spoils of Babylon, he's proved to be a real comic pro, and the film really benefits from his presence. But, his conflict with Vince is nothing that wasn't been done to death on the show.

It's frustrating that no effort has been made give ENTOURAGE any kind of big-screen weight as the movie just feels so disposable. It ambles along for 100 minutes, but the characters are awfully tiresome. Ari's still angry, Vince is still ambitious, Drama is still annoying, and Eric is still...well, something I guess. The only change since the show is that Turtle's lost weight (as has the nearly unrecognizable Ferrera) and is now filthy rich but his pursuit of Ronda Rousey (playing herself) is dull. For his part, Dillon's Drama is as annoying as ever and remains a total d-bag, although one of his subplots is bizarrely truncated (watch for Common's tell-tale silent cameo – which seems like it's building to something). The only real difference from the show is that despite enough ample T & A to earn an R-rating, it seems toned-down compared to the hardcore show. The boys are surprisingly chaste. It's oddly p.c compared to the “anything-goes” nature of the show, with the only random hook-ups that happen having disastrous outcomes.

Otherwise, not much has changed. There are lots of cameos, a bunch of Hollywood in-jokes, but it's very small-scale and minor. It seems like this had a conservative budget for a studio movie, and it feels less like of an actual film than the SEX & THE CITY movies, but at least it's relatively short. It seems unlikely that this will become a real franchise. ENTOURAGE had its time, but they should have just left well enough alone.  None of the fellas have ever been especially likable or memorable, but for some reason it worked for several seasons before going stale. A couple of years off hasn't suddenly made their stories feel vital, but if you're a real fan than you'll probably get a kick out of it. Otherwise, skip it or wait for it to hit HBO, which is where it really belongs.

Source: JoBlo.com



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