0365 | Entourage

maxresdefault Demolishing Entourage seemed to be all the rage a couple of months ago (especially when tearing it apart briefly became an art form), and I have to agree with all of the criticism I’ve personally seen or heard, while noting that it’s disappointing to see an occasionally-entertaining TV show go out on such a low. The truth is the long-running series which followed the exploits of heartthrob actor Vinny Chase (Adrian Grenier) and his close circle of friends in Los Angeles jumped the shark after a couple of years and the writers gradually either lost the ability or the will to satirise Entourage‘s Hollywood setting, while far too much time and money was wasted going through the motions with rehashed season-long plots and increasingly-weak celebrity cameos. Four of the five principal characters started off as a bunch of east coast chancers who couldn’t believe their luck and were staring agog at the shallow glitz and glamour in front of them, as if they were tourists; it was easier to identify with them at this point, before the writers completely turned Vinny et al into entitled douchebags who were comfortable amid all the excess.

After eight years on the small screen the transition to cinema was inevitable, especially given that the show in question was about the movie industry, but as with most big screen spin-offs audiences have merely been presented with 25 minutes’ worth of plot that simply cannot fill a feature length hour-and-a-half. And what a dreary plot it is: Chase and his buddies (Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara and Kevin Connolly) each have their own sex-based concern here, but most of the story rests on whether Vinny’s directorial debut is any good or not, and whether a pair of concerned Texan investors, played by Billy Bob Thornton and Haley Joel Osment, can be placated. Vinny’s film is a huge success, of course, and he does placate them, because writer / director / producer / creator / omnipotent force Doug Ellin seems to see Hollywood as a place where a bro’s vacuous teenage dreams of convertible cars, mansions and sun-kissed pool parties entourage-jeremy-piven-billy-bob-thornton-haley-joel-osment-600x399-600x399can and will come true, as opposed to it being a machine that fucks up people’s lives). So the film amounts to little more than 90 minutes of unchecked misognyny, homophobia, unreconstructed laddish banter, puerile sex gags and drooling mini-adverts for shiny cars, the assumption being that all audience members will think that this behaviour is wonderful and that this lifestyle is desirable, while the procession of smug, familiar faces appearing for cameos may even make you physically sick (like when you ate that third slice of chocolate cake last Tuesday). The celebs were often awkwardly shoehorned-in to the 25-minute TV episodes, but trying to work 50 into a film screenplay is absolutely ridiculous, and you have to question the dignity of all who chose to appear. At least the show never stooped so low as giving the likes of Piers Morgan extra unnecessary exposure: though his first appearance in this film could just about be forgiven come the revolution, allowing Morgan two chews of the acting cherry is simply unforgivable.

Even Entourage‘s most memorable and celebrated character Jeremy Piven’s hyper-obnoxious agent-turned-studio head Ari Gold has understandably lost most of his early bite, while those played by others (Debi Mazar, Constance Zimmer, Rex Lee, Perrey Reeves, Rhys Coiro, Emmanuelle Chriqui) are wheeled out here for existing fans and, in most cases, swiftly dispensed with (thereby presumably leaving newcomers who see the film completely perplexed as to who they are). The actresses in that short list above were given fairly prominent recurring roles in the TV show and played women who gave as good as they got, repeatedly cutting the boys of Entourage down to size in the early seasons, but they’ve been sidelined here in favour of an endless parade of objectified, slim, bikini-clad party girls all of whom are seemingly unattached who are only in the film so that one of the four main men can sleep with them or to make it even tawdrier and glossier by waving their breasts or backsides in the general direction of the camera. The Entourage story started with some promise all those years ago, but it has ended on a sour note. What a piece of shit.

Directed by: Doug Ellin.
Written by: Doug Ellin.
Starring: Adrian Grenier, Kevin Connelly, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara, Jeremy Piven.
Cinematography: Steven Fierberg.
Editing: Jeff Groth.
Music: Various.
Certificate: 15.
Running Time: 104 minutes.
Year: 2015.

Comments 14

    • Stu September 25, 2015

      Cheers Dan. It’s definitely a film that won’t win new fans (not that that’s the aim, I guess, as the TV show has finished now I think) but I don’t think they expected it to alienate so many existing ones.

  1. Todd Benefiel September 27, 2015

    I’ve been waiting for an utterly scathing review from you for a while now, so thanks! You mention two words that were the reason I never once wanted to watch the TV show (or the movie, for that matter): entitled douchebags. I doubt there’s anyone in the story who’s likeable, which for me is a must, but your final sentence tells me there isn’t, and is convincing enough for me to want to stay away.

    • Stu September 27, 2015

      Well this one really deserves all the scathing reviews it has received, to be honest, and I say that as someone who was once a fan of the TV show. It’s dismal, but I never have much hope for spin-off movies anyway, so it wasn’t a great surprise.

  2. jaythreadbear September 27, 2015

    Another great review. I never tried watching the show given the promising hatefulness of everyone in it, but I must admit to being intrigued now by those early seasons based on your description here. In any case the film sounds every bit as terrible as it looks!

    • Stu September 27, 2015

      Thanks! I think with any show there’s a danger that it runs out of steam after a few years, but that was definitely the case with Entourage for me. It seemed a lot sharper and more critical of the movie business to begin with and lost a lot of its bite. The film is definitely to be avoided!

  3. Tom September 28, 2015

    I have no idea how I have gotten along with the show for so long, because I am one of those who did watch and it and still wanted to chuck my remote at the screen because Kevin Dillon’s character was being such an annoying ass-hat. Ditto that to pretty much all of the crew. Still, I watched it thru 8 seasons, liking most of it, but admitting the last 3 seasons were a definite slide.

    I actually liked the film. It fucked up a few things, particularly Vinny’s marriage (that he was divorced at the start of this movie really made his treatment of women seem even worse when it was actually supposedly ‘improving’ as the show was ending) and it was shameless in the glamorizing of this particular bit of Hollywood. But there’s something about the success of Vinny and his boys — going from pretty broke kids in Brooklyn to wealthy and doing what they wanted that I liked. I am in no way whatsoever interested in the kinds of lives they all lead, and I’m on the side of the fence where people think the whole cast is a bunch of brats but something about it always had me. It’s pretty inexplicable, as I have to agree with 95% of this review.

    • Stu September 28, 2015

      Interesting stuff. It’s a shame it really tailed off near the end, but I definitely think they used to balance the guys being dickheads a lot more by including women who were repeatedly telling them they were dickheads (Debi Mazar’s publicist, Dana Gordon, Ari’s wife, etc. etc.). Those character ended up being wheeled out once or twice a season for a couple of minutes at a time (well, maybe more in one case, but still not that much) which is a shame. I also used to enjoy the celebrity cameos (remember the Matt Damon one in the TV series?) whereas here it’s just tired and uninspired: *wheel Pharell on, Pharell says a line, wheel Pharell off*, *wheel Armie Hammer on, Armie Hammer says a line, wheel Armie Hammer off* etc. etc. The biggest disappointment with regard to the film for me was remembering how funny it used to be…although maybe it’s me that has changed! Eight years is a long time.

      • Tom September 28, 2015

        I think you’re right; at its inception the show — like all long-running shows — felt original and definitely used humor more effectively. As it progressed and the character of Vince was ‘blowing up’ the writers I think kind of wrote themselves into a corner, trying to think of ways to use the town to Vince and his crew’s advantage. The overall story is meant to be one of uplift but it hardly feels like that when they began to act like such douchebags around season 4/5. I will need to watch the Entourage movie again just to see what the cameos were like b/c truth be told, the only one I really recalled was Rhonda Rousey and she was pretty good

        • Stu September 29, 2015

          I missed that one (but only because I don’t know who she is!). Cheers Tom, good to read your thoughts on the film as a fan of the show.

    • Stu September 29, 2015

      Yeah I agree with that completely. I enjoyed the show a lot at the beginning but gradually became irritated with it for the obvious reasons. Spin-offs rarely work for me…I’m struggling to think of any great examples.

  4. ckckred October 3, 2015

    Nice review Stu. I liked Entourage at the beginning but in its later seasons became very stale. Anyway, my brother is actually a big fan of the series and is probably the only person I know of who actually liked the movie.

    • Stu October 5, 2015

      I’ve got one friend who liked it, and likewise – he really enjoyed the series all the way to the end. It’s a shame it tailed off, but I guess it’s inevitable after so many years.

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