Director: Doug Ellin
Cast: Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara, Jeremy Piven
Release Date: June 3rd, 2015
When the HBO comedy Entourage went off the air in 2011, this it had lost some of its outlandish excitement. During one of the show’s latter seasons, dosage Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier), the movie star at the center of the story, had developed a drug problem which led to some of the show’s darkest episodes. It seemed like the show wasn’t as much fun as it once was. But now, four years later, the gang is back together in a full-length motion picture and enjoying their adventures as enthusiastically as they once did.
The film opens up only a few days after the gang’s last adventure ended. Nine days after his marriage to a reporter, Chase’s relationship– like so many other celebrity marriages– has fallen apart and he’s looking for his next movie role. Like in so many of the show’s episodes, he’s surrounded by beautiful women as he meets up with his personal entourage: his straight-shooter manager Eric (Kevin Connolly), his put-upon older brother Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon) and driver-turned-entrepreneur Turtle (Jerry Ferrara).
Vincent announces his intention to direct his next film to agent-turned-studio head Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) over the phone and then the boys start on their next adventure.
After that call, the familiar theme song plays, reminding viewers that this was once a television show. The reminder isn’t necessary.
What proceeds from there (and most of the story is set eight months after that call) is a story that could’ve functioned as a longer episode of the series itself. In other words, if you liked the show you’ll likely enjoy the film. If you didn’t enjoy these characters’ antics on the small screen, you should steer clear of the movie.
Each of the bros here is given his own path to follow but they all join together to support and mock one another along the way. Like the storylines from the show, the individual stories achieve varying degrees of success. Eric’s trysts coming back to haunt him while he awaits the birth of his child with Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui) is one of the film’s weakest components, which is ironic considering that Eric was one of the most compelling characters on the show itself. Johnny Drama’s online relationship too falters along the way, only serving the plot really at the end.
As on the show itself, the real standout is Gold, the hilarious but politically-incorrect agent who has steered Vincent from a Mentos commercial— which is seen here in the film— to becoming a commercial success story. In this story, Ari is faced with a smooth-talking film investor named Larsen (Billy Bob Thornton) and his obnoxious son Travis (Haley Joel Osment) who are questioning their investments in Hyde, Vincent’s directorial debut which cost upwards of a hundred million dollars. Ari’s famous one-liners are back and as cutting as ever.
Like the show on which it’s based, Entourage would rather luxuriate in the excessive Hollywood lifestyle rather than fully explore the depths of celebrity. The film offers dozens of celebrity cameos and in-jokes that are sure to make longtime viewers of the series smile. The show may have lasted a season or two too long but it was refreshing to see Doug Ellin, the creator of the show, return with such vibrancy in the movie. He picks up the story where we left off but here he reminds us why we enjoyed the show in the first place. It’s fun, it’s carefree and it’s funny. What more could you ask for?
Review by: John Hanlon