By Mark Saldana
Rating: 3 (Out of 4 Stars)
Not once during its eight season run did I watch an episode of Entourage. For one thing, I really do not watch very many TV shows anymore because most of my viewing time is spent watching films. Secondly, I have not been an HBO subscriber for several years now. Now that the award-winning, critically acclaimed Hollywood satire has been made into a feature film I have to take an interest. To be fair, I have been interested in the show for some time. For a while I couldn’t read any entertainment news without coming across positive reviews or buzz about the show. I just never made the time to dive in and immerse myself in this world. Having now seen the film, I have to say I am even more interested. The new Entourage feature film may not be the comedy of the year, but it does make for a fun and entertaining 104 minutes that should satiate fans hungry for more and will probably pique the interests of the uninitiated.
A-list actor Vincent Chase has already proven himself as a talented Hollywood star, but now he wants to prove himself as a director. Chase persuades his former agent-turned-studio head Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) to allow him to helm his latest big budget movie. Flash forward to post-production, the film, already over budget, requires more money to make it a “masterpiece”. This has Gold’s blood pressure in the red and has financiers Larsen (Billy Bob Thornton) and Travis McCredle (Haley Joel Osment) concerned. When the McCredles threaten to derail the project, it is up to Ari, Eric (Kevin Connolly), Drama (Kevin Dillon), and Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) to help out their friend.
Written and directed by Rob Ellis, who co-wrote with Rob Weiss, Entourage the movie is not really “the second coming”, but does make for a funny and enjoyable matinee at the movies. The TV show has a reputation for razor sharp and biting satire, but the film actually feels somewhat toned down in this department. Not all of the jokes excel. In fact, I am guessing that the movie itself that Chase is directing is supposed to be a joke; however, this left me more bewildered than amused. Nevertheless, I found the movie enjoyable overall and now, even more so, would love to go back and catch up on the entire series.
The film features fine performances by all of the returning cast, but Jeremy Piven absolutely kills as the always, pissed off, take-no-prisoners, Ari Gold. Just like the series, the movie also has plenty of cameos where the actors portray funny and exaggerated versions of themselves. Well, perhaps Gary Busey doesn’t exactly need to exaggerate his already bizarre persona, but as for the rest, the appearances of Hollywood actors makes for a mix of hilarious and moderately amusing moments. Some of the movie’s scenes have celebrities in the background as extras. This could make for a fun Easter egg hunt during subsequent viewings of the movie.
As much as I liked the film, part of me can’t help, but feel a little disappointed that this movie didn’t have a stronger impact. The Entourage TV show has quite the reputation for hilarious comedy, and wild, unbridled antics. This movie continuation of the series feels somewhat diluted. Regardless, I cannot honestly say that I didn’t have some fun watching the film and it definitely left me wanting more. I’m not sure if a sequel is in the works, but in the meantime I plan to visit the events that lead up to this amusing feature film.