I’m probably the last person who should be reviewing the Entourage movie. I saw a couple of episodes of the first season when it first came out at the recommendation of a friend, but never really got into it. It was “cool” following the lives of Hollywood celebrities, I suppose, but I was expecting more humour and intelligence and less yelling and embarrassing situations.
But after eight seasons, the series was successful enough for them to want to make a feature film to send Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) and his entourage — Eric (Kevin Connolly), Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) and Johnny (Kevin Dillon), and of course his fiery agent, Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) — into the sunset.
The premise? Vincent wants to direct his own film, and they are scared it’s going to be a disaster. Billy Bob Thornton (well, his character anyway) is financing it and his son, played by Haley Joel Osment (yes, the kid from The Sixth Sense), is sent to supervise them. Meanwhile, Eric decides to sleep with a lot of women while his ex-fiance (Emmanuelle Chriqui) is pregnant, Turtle gets skinny and rich and tries to date Ronda Rousey, Johnny is still trying to make it in Hollywood, and Ari is back in the business but struggling with the stress and its effects on his temper and sex life.
Having basically not seen the TV series, I managed to gather all of this fairly easily, so the film at least has that going for it. Apart from that, however, I don’t really know what the film was trying to achieve. There are celebrity appearances and cameos galore — if I named all of them it would be longer than this review — and lots of Hollywood excesses on display. Most scenes have scantily clad women dancing and prancing in the background. They have fast cars and big houses. They bang hot babes. So what? Why do I care?
Perhaps you need to know the characters well to better understand it. For me, none of them are charming or even remotely likable. They treat each other like brothers but treat women like garbage, and there are no consequences for their despicable behaviour. Is this supposed to be a warped male fantasy of some kind or appeal to men in general? I don’t get it.
There’s also not much in terms of witty humour or plot. It gave me a couple of chuckles but no real laughs, meaning it easily fails the six-laugh test for a good comedy. In terms of the narrative, it just feels like not much happens. There is this movie they’re making, but we don’t get to actually see them making it. Instead we just follow the characters around as they deal with their individual issues, though there’s never really any genuine tension or the feeling that anything is at stake. It comes across as a film on cruise control, an opportunity for the actors to have a good time one final time while patting each other on the backs and exchanging high fives as they ride off into the horizon. The ridiculous ending essentially confirms this.
That said, I’m surprised to admit that the film was better than I expected. Before watching I had listened to a review of the film by the BBC’s Mark Kermode, who absolute loathed it and said it was worse than Sex and the City 2, one of the benchmarks for the worst films ever made. I know this is not something I should admit, but I saw both the Sex and the City movies. They were deservedly panned but I didn’t think they were that bad. The same goes for Entourage.
People who get excited from seeing a lot of celebrities on screen and dream of their success will probably enjoy this movie. To me, a film like this with a plethora of mostly pointless celebrity cameos is at least better than those horrendous commercially-driven ensemble cast movies like New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day. To me, Entourage the movie felt more like an extended TV special than the big screen feature send-off it’s supposed to be. I didn’t hate it — it’s more that I just didn’t understand why I should enjoy it.
2.5 stars out of 5
PS: Here is that Kermode review.