The Entourage boys are back with their first feature film with series creator Doug Ellin serving as director and it’s just what you would expect from the testosterone driven hit HBO show…women, cars, cameos, and Ari Fricking Gold. Eight seasons just weren’t enough to tell the tale of Vinny Chase and his boys as they conquer Hollywood and all the women in Los Angeles.
The film picks up six months after the show ended where we find Johnny “Drama” Chase (Kevin Dillon), Eric “E” Murphy (Kevin Connolly), and “Turtle” (Jerry Ferrara) riding a motorboat to a yacht party where their newly divorced friend, movie star Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) is partying it up with the locals in Ibiza. Reunited and it feels so good for this brat pack-esque crew who now look to the next chapter in Vince’s career. Hearing that his former agent, Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) has returned from retirement and is now a studio exec, Vince reaches out to Ari, who offers Vince a new project, a project that Vince says he will only do if he can direct. And this is where the story begins.
The project is called Hyde, which is a futuristic take on “Jekyll and Hyde”. Starring and directing in the film, Vince recruits E to be his producer and Drama to be his co-star, but things go south when the blooming budget and rumors of a disastrous rough cut of the film reach Ari, who is desperate for this film to be a success. Vince reaches out to Ari to convince him to fund the project with more money so he can fully complete his vision. Reluctant, Ari reaches out to Larsen McCredle (Billy Bob Thornton), an oil tycoon and studio financier who refuses to give any more money unless his son, Travis (Haley Joel Osment) accompanies Ari back to Hollywood and sees a version off the film. Determined to see this project to completion, Ari and Vince try to convince Travis to fund the extra money, but complication arise when Travis and Vince can’t meet eye to eye on the film. With time running out and a studio hungry for a hit, can Ari, Vince and the boys find their way to the finish line?
Director Doug Ellin elects for the “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it approach” with his characters and creates a film that feels more like an over bloated, cameo filled episode of the television show. This approach isn’t detrimental to the film’s success, but limits the characters evolution past what we already know of them. As for the actors, they get to slip into a familiar shoe and do exactly what they did for eight years. Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara and Kevin Connolly all provide exactly what the audience wants and they do it fairly well, but there’s an empty feeling seeing these great characters not find anything new to do except drive around and talk about sex. Jeremy Piven is epic as always as the fast talking Ari Gold. Piven steals every scene he’s in and is the real star of this film as he was of the tv show.
Overall, Entourage is for fans of the show and very few others. It is a fun trip down memory lane for many of us who invested close to a decade in these characters, but in the end, the film did little to expand the characters any further and left me wanting more from the plot. Is the movie as enjoyable as the show? Sure, but not as creative. Let’s hope if the boys get another go around that they give us a little more substance than this.
2 1/2 out of 5
After Credit Scene?
Scene during the credits