Directed by Doug Ellin
Starring Adrian Grenier, Jeremy Piven, Kevin Dillon
A cross between a cutting satire from a Hollywood insider and a stealth biopic about the day to day life of Mark Wahlberg, Entourage graced HBO for eight seasons. Now, four years after wrapping up, it is finally getting the big screen treatment.
Following the events of the series finale, movie star Vincent Chase’s (Adrian Grenier) marriage lasts a total of nine days before being mutually dissolved. Not bad when you consider it outlasted Ari Gold’s (Jeremy Piven) retirement, as he is lured back to Hollywood with the promise of being head of a studio. For Ari’s first project he wants his friend Vince to star in a futuristic adaptation of Jekyll And Hyde, an offer Vince is willing to accept as long as he can direct. With the status quo restored the group soon falls back into their old ways of partying and helping each other out with girl trouble, be they a movie star, a pregnant ex, or an MMA fighter. Now with the release date for Hyde growing near and Vince going further and further over budget, Ari is beginning to panic about the capabilities of his former band of brothers.
There is more than a little bit of an extended episode feel to Entourage. Each of the characters get an arc, but it is hard to escape the fact that Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) and Drama’s (Kevin Dillon) plots are mainly padding and not that relevant to the overall story. That’s not the worst situation, as their antics are amusing and over its run Entourage has created a collection of characters that are actually engaging to watch.
Overall, this is just more of the same from the TV show. The stakes have been upped a bit (with Vince’s directorial debut, and Ari’s new “King of Hollywood” status), but the same frat boy mentality is there, as well as the close and supportive group of friends. From the first couple of minutes of the film all the character growth of the finale episode is dismantled, setting us back at the beginning and establishing business as normal.
For those of us that are first time Entourage viewers, the film also uses this time to re- establish the characters via a helpful run-down from Hollywood insider Piers Morgan, getting everyone back up to speed. It is the first in a long line of cameos that fill the Entourage movie, some of them callbacks to the series, others new, while still others are just egregious (Wahlberg, I’m looking at you). Although continuing a tradition of the show, it clearly overplays its hand here and adds to the overall sense of filler.
Entourage is everything you would expect from the TV show’s transition to the big screen, maintaining all the character notes of the original and expanding the story further. It may be the very definition of an unnecessary exercise, but it is still likeable for all that, primarily due to the charms of the circle of friends presented here.