Film Review “Entourage”

entourageStarring: Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara and Jeremy Pivens
Directed By: Doug Ellin
Rated: R
Running Time: 104 minutes
Warner Bros. Pictures

Our Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Back in 2007, on the advice of a college friend, I was told to give HBO’s “Entourage” a try. After four episodes, I called it quits. Not because it was an atrocity, but because it wasn’t my thing. I could see why it was recommended and why it would inevitably gain popularity and go on for another seven seasons. It was short, fun, and one’s opinion mainly hinged on the likeability of the core group.

There’s Vincent Chase (Grenier), the movie star in this world, Vincent’s best friend and manager, E (Connolly), Vincent’s brother, Johnny Drama (Dillon), and Turtle (Ferrara), who serves no real purpose at all. This is the core group of guys, constantly being weaved in and out of each other’s social lives along with their laughable adult lives in sunny Los Angeles.

The movie “Entourage” brings them back from the dead in a movie that’s three to four times longer than any episode they ever conceived. Back to wrangle these idiots is Ari Gold (Pivens), easily the best character amongst this core. Gold is once again quick-witted, funny, crudely charming, and multi-layered, unlike the aforementioned characters. Just like the TV show, Gold is the best thing about all of this. If he’s not on screen, it doesn’t feel like it’s worth my time.

Vincent’s story revolves around his directorial debut, and we’re supposed to believe that this sometimes oblivious person has crafted a masterpiece, but he needs some more money to put the finishing touches on it. Gold is back, not as Vincent’s agent, but as the head of the studio financing Vincent’s vision. As for the rest of the gang, they’re back, but it’d probably be better if they weren’t.

“Entourage” must have fallen off the deep end since those first four episodes that I watched. What seemed like a clever jab at Hollywood has now become obsessed with everyone partying, drinking and having sex. That was in the episodes I saw, but not to this excess or to this tasteless amount featured in the movie. It’s especially awkward for Johnny Drama who’s nearing the age that crosses the border from confident to creepy.

Vincent, who’s supposed to me the most freaked out about a movie that may be scrapped, seemingly reacts in a lukewarm manner to everything wrong happening to him. They’re over budget, everyone doubts his skills, financiers are getting ready to back out, and all he does is stare blankly into the camera. Gold is reacting as any sane person would, as he yells, punches inanimate objects, and creates new swear words. “Entourage” should be about Gold, not Vincent. Vincent is supposed to be a fresh, exciting, new actor, but half the time it seems like he’s waiting for someone to feed him a line or the director to give him his motivation.

It’s also a bad sign when the cameos in your movie are more memorable than what happens to your main characters. But it’s also a good sign when those cameos include Liam Neeson, Bob Saget, Tom Brady, and a slew of other people willing to give a cheap laugh at the expense of themselves or others. When Gold is on screen, “Entourage” is clever and fun, but when Vincent is on screen, it’s painful and dry. Maybe they should break up this entourage and just make a movie called Ari Gold. Now I’d pay to see that.

“Entourage” is a difficult movie to love, but an easy movie to hate. At its core, it’s fan-service, plain and simple. If you didn’t watch the show, you’re not going to see what all the fuss is about, but if you own every season on DVD or blu-ray, you’re inevitably going to add this movie to your collection.

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