Film review: Entourage - TV series' gratuitous excesses carry over
Four years after the HBO show concluded, Vinnie Chase and his friends are back for a first movie outing. Apart from some flashier titles and a bigger budget, it's business-as-usual for this tale of gratuitous Hollywood excess, directed by creator Doug Ellin.
If you're a fan of the show, this is exactly what you'd want. The boys are back doing what they do best: chasing women and dollars.
Fresh from divorce, movie star Vinnie (Adrian Grenier) is making his directorial debut — thanks to former agent-turned-studio head Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven). Naturally, it's plagued by problems — not least the presence of Vinnie's brother Johnny (Kevin Dillon) in four "pivotal" scenes. Meanwhile, the others are distracted — manager Eric (Kevin Connolly) by on-off girlfriend Sloan's pregnancy and ex-driver Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) by Ronda Rousey.
Energetic, sun-kissed and packed with male fantasy, it feels like an extended episode, much in the way the Sex and the City movie did. Familiar characters return, from radical director Billy Walsh to publicist Shauna and Ari's gay ex-assistant Lloyd. Likewise, the show's staple cameos are as plentiful as the girls in bikinis — everyone from Thierry Henry to Liam Neeson.
It's not going to win awards for political correctness — not with Piven's brilliantly foul-mouthed Ari — but the pacing is so relentless that it's impossible to keep up with the offensive slurs. If you're a fan, it'll feel like a gathering of old friends. And if you're not, maybe start with the TV show.
Entourage opens on June 18