Let me save you some time before I rant about this thing I just endured: do not see this film. Thankfully, I got complimentary tickets but that does not repay the time it cost me.
By the final episode of the final season of HBO’s Entourage, I do not know anyone who cared all that much for anyone on the show except for loud mouth agent Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven, Mr. Selfridge). The show, loosely based on executive producer Mark Wahlberg’s own early experiences of Hollywood, was a tight comedic drama in its early years. There was an interesting premise, executed in a competent and enjoyable way: Vinnie Chase (Adrian Grenier) was a small time actor from Queens in the big, harsh world of Hollywood. He struggled to make a name for himself but whether he appeared to be washed up and finished or making millions at the box office, he remained loyal to his entourage; which consisted of half-brother and struggling actor Johnny “Drama” (Kevin Dillon) and his two best friends from home, Eric “E” (Kevin Connolly) who also acted as Vinnie’s manager, and “Turtle” (Jerry Ferrara) who started as a driver but eventually gained his own story arcs. All four were tied to one another through their love for Vinnie and their desire for him to succeed, as well as long-standing representative and surrogate father figure, Ari Gold.
Ari is crass, rude and obnoxious but ultimately there is something lovable behind it all; a heart still remains once all the façade and bravado have burnt out. In the series, this would occasionally be visualised by a good deed or a moment of emotional turmoil. He is an interesting, if exaggerated, character with enough flaws for an audience to believe in him and enough likable characteristics for us to care. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Vincent Chase or any of the three characters in the “entourage” who, for reasons that remain a mystery to me, are still the focus of this story.
Ah the story! (I guess there are spoilers here but, frankly, I do not care anymore and neither will you) Vinnie Chase is a rich Hollywood actor. He played the field throughout the series but in the end, schmaltzy though it was, he got married and flew away happily ever after. We open the movie on a yacht where Vinnie is surrounded by half-naked models and learn he quickly divorced. Next, a phone-call with Ari about his next major project, which he refuses to star in unless he can direct; roll the opening credits followed by a step-by-step “previously on Entourage”-type segment hosted by Piers Morgan. As soon as I saw that 10-foot projected mug of his on the screen, I knew the next 90 minutes were going to be rough.
It is not that Entourage (the movie) does anything bad as such with what it gives us but it just does not give very much at all. There are lots of cameos, as there were in the show, which are good for a snigger but that is it. Even then, the majority of these are reduced to swearing at Ari. So funny. Hilarious. Yes? No. There are also lots of rehashed old jokes about the archetypal characters the four leads represent: the stupid/pathetic one Johnny, the fat/previously fat one Turtle, the one with a good loyalty to women Eric (who for some reason changes character in the movie just for one extended failure of a joke) and then Vinnie who actually adds even less than the other three and I am struggling to figure out what that was right now.
Again, we return to Ari who has been the reason to watch for quite a few years and this has not changed in the movie. He has a family but a high-pressure job, which is damaging his marriage to the extent he agreed to go into counselling. Already, this is, in one sentence more interesting than anything related to the four main characters. Other than a somewhat uncomfortable homophobic-ness edge with the agent he had a fantastic albeit explosive working relationship with in the series, Ari’s character remains unchanged, and it is possible to survive the runtime as a result of his entertainment value alone.
However, the plot is just so dull, obnoxious and nonsensical that it would bore me to type it here even more than you have been reading about this film to this point. Maybe the four leads are great actors with other material, Jeremy Piven certainly is, but with this tripe they struggle to do anything and it would be harsh of me to blame anyone for performing badly when it comes to such a terrible script and so I will just reiterate what I opened with: do not see this film.
FILM RATING: SKIP IT (obviously)