Entourage fans have reason to rejoice, simply because a full-length feature film version of the series exists and can fill the void they’ve felt since the series went off HBO in 2011 after eight seasons. But as I say in my video review above, the downside is that because the series worked so well in half-hour increments, a nearly two-hour film version (104 minutes, actually) feels almost like forced binge-watching.
A little bit of this gang can go a long way, and in parts this movie version seems unnecessarily padded. But that aside, I had a great time revisiting Vince, E, Drama, Turtle and, of course, the real drawing card of this thing: agent Ari Gold, superbly played by Emmy winner Jeremy Piven. He really is the driving force here, the wounded heart and dark soul of this Hollywood insider’s fantasia.
In fact, the plot revolves around Ari as he leaves agenting behind and becomes a studio head. For his first big film, a $100 million contemporary take on Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde called Hyde, he enlists his former star client, Vince (Adrian Grenier). Complications arise when Vince announces he also intends to direct it. This causes problems for Ari with his backers, Texas oil magnate Billy Bob Thornton and his ne’er-do-well son, played hilariously by Haley Joel Osment (remember him from The Sixth Sense?). The latter heads out to Hollywood as kind of a spy for Dad’s financial interest but only causes problems when he gets caught up in the decadence of it all and insists on changes that don’t go down well with Vince. Meanwhile, Ari is just trying to see the over-budget film that Vince has wrought.
As for the rest of gang, manager E (Kevin Connolly) is wrapped up in women problems, Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) is hooked up in a business venture with Mark Cuban of all people, and the irrepressible Drama (Kevin Dillon) still is trying to make his mark as an actor and has landed a small role in Vince’s film.
One of the great fun things about the series is repeated here 10 times over with numerous celebrity cameos, from Liam Neeson to producer Mark Wahlberg himself. Of course, series creator Doug Ellin — who co-writes with Rob Weiss and directs the movie — loosely based Entourage on Wahlberg’s real friends and support team when he became a hot actor in the City of Angels.
Fans of the series won’t want to miss this one. Will they be disappointed? Probably not too much. These old familiar friends are nice to have back, even if some of the film doesn’t measure up to our fondest memories. Warner Bros got a jump on the competition by opening Wednesday, and early box office is encouraging.
Do you plan to see Entourage? Let us know what you think.