Entourage ended its nine-season run on HBO with an impossibly trite series finale that left everyone in the group looking at bright, satisfying, money-laden futures. The show was always in love with its characters too much; unable to let anything happen to them that would cause lasting negative effects. Sure, Vince (Adrian Grenier) saw a few career downturns, but he always bounced back. It was always the prerogative of the show to party with little consequence. At first it worked as a satirical comment on the ludicrous lavisheness of Hollywood, and then it morphed into a parody of itself. So, why do we need an “Entourage” movie? It seems because the good times needed one last roll. The unbelievably happy endings just weren’t enough.
Right out of the gate Entourage (the movie) reminds us that we’re indeed watching that very same HBO show about a group of children disguised as men who gleefully tromp around L.A. searching for their next sexual conquest. A party on a yacht with dozens of scantily clad bikini models, what a perfect way of showing us what Entourage (the TV show) would’ve looked like with a bigger budget paired with the same adolescence.
Vincent Chase is just about the biggest star Hollywood has to offer, and now he’d like to direct and star in a passion project. Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven), who has returned from a short retirement to take over as head of a large movie studio, is skeptical but okay’s the idea because Vince is, well, Vince. Along for the ride is Eric (Kevin Connolly) who’s on-again-off-again relationship with Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui) is still going strong. For those that haven’t watched the show before, perhaps this tidbit won’t bother you. For those that have, I think we can all agree that the will-they-or-won’t-they dynamic between Eric and Sloan is the biggest bore the show has ever had to offer. Well, besides whatever Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) is doing, that is. Finally, there’s Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon), Vince’s brother, who experiences as much anxiety and depression about his lot in life – failed actor-brother of an enormous movie star – as he did in the show’s nine seasons.
Nothing much has changed as Entourage finds itself, improbably, on the big screen. Drama and Ari are still the reasons anyone should be watching. Vince, in irony of ironies, has always been little more than a set piece to move around encouraging everyone else. Drama’s insecurities take center stage as he finds out his part in Vince’s new movie might be cut because the financiers don’t like him. Ari gets in a few good zingers, and has a moment where he’s able to dress down a board meeting of studio big wigs. He’s always been great at walking into meetings, taking over, and yelling obscenities at everyone.
The inability of Entourage to treat attractive women as anything more than props at parties has always been troublesome. Every once and a while they’d cast the hottest new actress and give her a pivotal love interest role. However, most of the time Entourage women are there as objects of conquest only to be disparaged later during the group’s endless missives about each other’s sex lives.
The curious idea of the movie is that it centers on the difficulties of getting a movie made within the bureaucratic nightmare that is the Hollywood studio system. Hoops must be jumped through, and illogical demands must be met. It all begs the question, what was it like to get this movie made? Or does that dive too deep down the rabbit hole?
If you’ve never seen an episode of Entourage this movie certainly isn’t for you. The characters won’t make sense, and neither will their interactions with each other. It seems strange releasing a movie, in the summer no less, which is dependent on the viewer having seen nine seasons of the show beforehand. But, if we’ve learned anything from Entourage it’s that Hollywood’s inner workings often times make very little sense indeed.