Entourage is a continuation of the TV show that ran for 8 series from 2004 til 2011. It follows the life of Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) as he moves to Hollywood and becomes a successful movie star. Along for the ride are his childhood friends Turtle (Jerry Ferrara), E (Kevin Connolly) and his actor brother Drama (Kevin Dillon)
The film picks up pretty much where the series ends – we find ourselves on a ridiculous yacht where Vince is throwing a decadent party to celebrate/mourn the end of his 9 day marriage by surrounding himself with bikini-clad and naked women, all of whom look as if they have just walked off a Victoria Secret ad.
I must admit I am not a fan of the series, having only seen a handful of episodes, but have always heard good things about how it portrays the Hollywood industry through the ups and downs of Vince and Drama’s careers. Many would argue, and I would agree in terms of the film, that the best character is Jeremy Piven’s Ari and at least in the film he provides the best laughs- actually make that laugh.
That’s the problem with this film; it is a comedy that is not funny. The premise is that Vince and Ari are back together as lead actor and manager (or head of the studio now in Ari’s case) but this time Vince wants to direct as well. After going $15million over budget he is asking for more money, prompting the arrival of the clichéd “redneck” Texans that finance the film played by the usually brilliant but largely wasted Billy Bob Thorton and Haley Joel Osmund’s Travis, who decides he doesn’t like Vince or his film and refuses to relinquish any more money unless Drama is cut- but Vince won’t do that.
The four main characters are best friends and with that comes absolute loyalty beyond rationality. Vince is far too arrogant, even as a first time director, to take any criticism or notes on his film and Ari, perhaps blinded by his relationship with Vince and the gang or perhaps the Hyde (Vince’s film project) is a masterpiece – we’ll never know -backs Vince up and even puts his own job on the line to secure the success of Hyde.
Entourage is dull and slow and essentially just and extended episode of macho lad-ism with added misogyny thrown in. The women are all unbelievably skinny and ‘sexy’, and exist for the sole purpose of pleasing the men in the film. E tries to convince the audience; the two women he slept with in one day; and his pregnant ex-wife that he is a decent guy by: sleeping with two girls in the same day without using protection as one is worried she may be pregnant and the other warns that he may have an STD. At the same time he plays emotional football with his on again off again relationship with Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui) – dropping her when a sluttier, younger model (probably actually a model) comes along and drops her pants within 5 minutes of knowing each other. Yeah you’re a great guy E!
In an attempt to bolster the thin plot line, which follows the predictable ups and downs oft seen in an episode of the show, the director has thrown in as many celebrity cameos as he possibly can- perhaps in an attempt to add “realism” to the Hollywood setting- everyone here is a celeb apparently!- or perhaps to give the audience a game of spot the celeb. These cameos range from Liam Neeson telling Ari to F Off to Pharrell’s Hat (and Pharrell) turning up at Vince’s premiere, to Jon Favreau and Gary Busey telling stories at parties. There’s even a blink and you’ll miss it appearance by Thierry Henry and his dog (who also gets an IMDB credit). Mike Tyson makes an appearance of course, what lads’ films about bromance and machismo would be complete without and appearance from Mike Tyson?- see Hangover series. Jessica Alba also makes an appearance as herself asking Ari for money to make her own passion project- is that a nod to Doug Ellin’s (director) Hollywood pals on how hard it is to get smaller films that you really care about green lit without putting in some time in for a sci-fi blockbuster? Poor Hollywood A-listers.
Entourage is all about the excess of Hollywood. The series might have started as a “rags to riches” story but this film barely cares about its roots and just serves as consumerist porn, car porn, big pools porn, and actual porn porn at one point! These wealthy lads live up their lavish lifestyles in the luxurious LA setting and for them it seems the party will never end.