And so it goes in Hollywood whether you’re George Clooney or the all-too-real-yet-sort-of-not young star Vincent Chase. ENTOURAGE The Movie is an extrapolation of the HBO series ENTOURAGE which ran from 2004-20011. The series was, for a large part, good. It made us a part of a tightly knit clique of young male friends from childhood, led by Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) on his pilgrimage to Los Angeles and his quest to be a star. I always wondered, as did many I am sure, if the devotion of Eric, “Drama” and Turtle was at its heart about their love and devotion to Vince – and each other – or the deep covetous hope that Vince’s star power would benefit them as well. Kind of like the closest most cuddly starf*ckers of all time. In real life, like Hollywood, it usually proves to be a combination thereof with a good measure of secret motives thrown in.
ENTOURAGE does not expand the on the original in any notable way, but the boys have matured both chronologically and financially, and the the stakes are higher. Beloved, neurotic and anger management challenged super agent Ari Gold has become a studio head and taps Vince to star in his first mega-hit. Vince says yes, with a single caveat; He wants to direct. Of course he does. After ending his 9 day marriage to an unseen female the beginning of the film finds Vince licking his wounds on a yacht filled with so much T&A that it could pass for 1970’s late night cable TV hard R rated psedo-porn. It is every heteroexual male’s wet dream, as it is for Drama, Turtle and E who thankfully still appear astonished and delighted by the scene.
The four year gap between series and film has benefited the Entourage and each character has grown. Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) is now wealthy in his own right as a tequila magnate, Eric, or ‘E,’ is Vince’s producer, and Drama, who could only be played by the fantastic Kevin Dillon, is…well…not only still unsuccessful, but remains the only genuine, endearing character in the whole group. He is, without question, the most oblivious, egotistical, dirty-minded, uncouth misogynist of all time – but you love him all the more. I have never cared much for Eric’s character, played once again by Kevin Connolly, and in the film his character takes a turn which is hard to believe, but maybe that’s just me. Regardless, it is a plot development which is low impact and fairly good filler. Turtle is likeable enough but again, he is mostly background noise. 50 pounds less background noise due to his slimming program (about which Drama has some very funny recurrent lines) but background noise nontheless. They do throw him a nice romantic thread to cling to and he handles it well but there’s not much range needed to bring it to fruition. Vince is still just mostly a pretty face and is the least interesting of the bunch.
ENTOURAGE is no doubt an accurate depiction of what it is like to live as a hot young star in today’s Hollywood. It is also a fairly misogynistic film. I do not take issue per se with that because the unfortunate reality is that mysogyny is a real and pervasive evil in the film industry. I also don’t typically get my knickers in a twist over these issues, not from a lack of caring but more-so because truth is paramount and the recognition of the “truth” about things is the first step to change. All that being said, all the women in ENTOURAGE, even the likeable Sloane (Emmanuelle Chriqui) are utterly peripheral. The man cluster that is the entourage has little remorse about their view of women. I could get really analytical here and say that Vince serves as the “face” of a being made up of all the parts of the entourage: Eric is the superego, Drama is the Id and Turtle is the Ego. When you look at them in those capacities they all become a little more one dimensional, but it illuminates the chemistry that makes the group dynamic work so well. But hey, enough psycho-babble. it’s just ENTOURAGE.
Jeremy Piven, who reprises his role as super agent Ari Gold is drunk with power and he reigns like no other. Piven is a great comedic actor and his importance in ENTOURAGE cannot be understated. The triangle between Ari, his nameless, perfectly polished wife (Perrey Reeves) and his son is phenomenal, and I’m happy to say that Ari’s character, while keeping true to his roots and innate nature, actually evolves through the course of the film to show up in its conclusion in a heartfelt and wonderfully satisfying fashion. Lloyd is back (Rex Lee) and serves as a happy, funny tangent, and an valuable part of the narrative. Billy Bob Thornton, who becomes more reptilian with each passing year, and Haley Joel Osment play the odious father-son Texas money behind Vince’s film and they fulfill those roles with alarming ease and credibility. There are also so many cameos in ENTOURAGE that I could hardly identify them all. It’s really fun to name them as they appear and I feel confident it could be the basis for a great drinking game.
ENTOURAGE is glittery, naked, voyeuristic and seriously funny. The title sequence deserves a shout-out all its own, and is one of the best graphically designed for a Hollywood based film I’ve ever seen. The movie has the same humor as the series with one defining difference; the film makes fun of the Hollywood star machine and the movie business in general. It is certainly not the first film to do so and won’t be the last but it does it well, and it is a total riot. You genuinely rally around the guys – and Ari – and there is no cheap saccharin manipulation. Each of them gets what they deserve, both good and bad, and you relish every moment. The younger crowd will love the nudity, the endless supply of beautiful women and sexy shiny schwag, while an older crowd will resonate and suffer along with Ari over the business power and pain. The movie concludes with a joyous, spirited and well deserved event which is perfectly satisfying and loveable. As does the coda after the main credits which you won’t want to miss. I’m not an LA person, and I wouldn’t want to be Vince (or even a girl-Vince), but life is damn good to the ENTOURAGE.(4 / 5)
Director: Doug Ellin
Cast: Adrian Grenier, Jeremy Piven, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara, Kevin Connolly, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Billy Bob Thornton, Haley Joel Osment
Running Time: 104 minutes
ENTOURAGE Movie Review