The feature film adaptation of Entourage hit theaters yesterday, much to the joy of this said movie critic. While Entourage was never as thought-provoking or smart as other HBO programs like The Sopranos, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and so forth, Entourage was still a really fun and exciting fantasy about life as a big time movie star. The show was never really believable, but series creator Doug Ellin and the actors helped make this world fun and convincing (even if it was on the air for too long). Three years have passed since the half-assed series finale, and Ellin along with producer Mark Wahlberg convinced the cast to get together for another (and possibly final?) ride. Critics have destroyed the film, but fans of the show seem satisfied. Here’s my review of Entourage.
The film picks up 8 months after the finale. Vince’s (Adrien Grenier) marriage at the end of the show ended after 9 days, E. (Kevin Connolly) has a baby on the way with Sloan, Turtle (Jerry Ferrera) has gotten very rich and sucessful from his entrepreneurship, and Johnny Drama is still Drama, played once again by Kevin Dillion. Ari (Jeremy Piven) is running Warner Bros. Pictures now, and his first film as head of the studio is a modern-day retelling of Dr. Jekyell and Mr. Hyde, with Vince both starring in and directing the film. The film has gone significantly over budget, and Ari has to get more money from the investor, played by Billy Bob Thornton. Throw in the other Entourage shenanigans and you have enough to keep you entertained for under two hours.
Ellin writes and directs the feature, and I can totally understand why critics haven’t been too nice to the Entourage movie. It doesn’t really feel like a movie, it feels more like a really long episode from the show. This could’ve been have aired on HBO instead of having it in a theater for people to pay to see it. But you know what? I still really enjoyed the film and had fun with it the whole time. The film is still Entourage, and its great to hang with these characters again, even if they don’t really build on anything throughout the whole film. It’s strange because as a critic, I should hate this film and call it out for feeling like another Entourage episode, but since I was such a big fan of the dumb but incredibly entertaining series that I’m able to forgive the film and turn off my brain for a few hours and just have fun. This will probably end up being my guilty pleasure of the summer 2015 movie season.
Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the things that made Entourage great are all here, as well as all the things that made Entourage annoying at times (Does Vince do the movie? Does E. get back with Sloan? and more that is brilliantly showcased in Screen Junkie’s latest Honest Trailer on the series, which you can check out here). And it really comes down to this, if you loved Entourage the T.V. show, you’re gonna have fun and really dig the movie. If you hated the show, you’re gonna hate the movie. It’s more of the same, but they don’t throw any subplots like the whole Vince being a drug addict arc from the show in the film. The film plays it straight, and as a fan of the show its a nice way to see these characters for one last time (Although Marky Mark says they plan on doing another Entourage film if this one’s successful).
Of course there are tons of cameos in the film, with celebrities ranging from Tom Brady to Mike Tyson to Pharrell to celebrities that cameoed on the show, like Gary Busey, Mark Cuban, Andrew Dice Clay (had fun seeing the Dice-man again) and so on. One of the only cameos that’s in more than one scene is Ronda Rousey, who acts as a potential love interest to Turtle. Haley Joel Osment appears out of nowhere to play the son of Billy Bob Thornton’s character, who tries to sabotage Vince’s movie. I don’t think I’ve seen the actor on the big screen in over a decade, and he has some fun with his character. Everybody’s great in the film, especially Piven returning to play one of the great television characters on the big screen. The film does feel a bit too long, primarily due to a documentary piece they have in the beginning of the film as a way to catch the audience up on what they’ve missed. That should’ve been cut out of the film, as well as a few other scenes.
To sum things up, if you’re a fan of Entourage, of course you should go see the film. If you’ve never seen it or hate the show, don’t go see it. It’s as simple as that. I don’t know if I want to see any more sequels to the show, because I have a good feeling that the next Entourage film could be really bad (even though the critics aren’t too hot on this one). Don’t expect this to be the comedy of the summer, or the film of the summer. But think of this as a slightly nostalgic trip down memory lane of one of HBO’s best comedies, and that’s all it really should be. Nothing more than that.