"Take me for a round, I last 30 seconds you'll let me take you on a date.”
It's been four years since actor, Vincent Chase, and his crew were last seen on TV, and now these characters are back for their feature film following the footsteps of other TV series such as Sex and the City and Veronica Mars. I personally wasn't familiar with the show, but I wanted to see if the film could be judged on its own (Veronica Mars succeeded to do so). In an early scene we get a summary of who these characters are through an informative newsreel from Piers Morgan. It didn't feel like it was a smooth transition, but at least it tried to introduce everyone in a simple way. Apparently the film picks up right where the series ended, Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) has recently been separated from his wife after only nine days of being married so his friends Eric (Kevin Connolly), Turtle (Jerry Ferrara), and his older brother, Drama (Kevin Dillon) are all joining him for a party on his boat. The guys begin planning Vincent's next project and he immediately calls his former agent, Ari (Jeremy Piven), who is now a studio head. Ari wants him to star in his next film, and Vincent agrees with the condition that he can direct it as well. Eight months later, Vincent is in post-production of his movie, which is already over budget, but he needs more money to tweak it. Ari is forced to travel to Texas to meet with the financiers, Larsen McCredle (Billy Bob Thornton) and his silly son Travis (Haley Joel Osment). Ari must agree to let Travis return with him so he can see the film and decide if it is worth the risk to lend them more money. After seeing the film, Travis tells his father it is no good, but it seems that his decision is personal rather than professional.
As we follow Ari trying to convince everyone that the film will be a success, we get smaller subplots revolving around some of the characters personal relationships. Turtle runs into professional MMA fighter, Ronda Rousey, who he has a huge crush on, while Vince is currently dating professional supermodel, Emily Ratajkowski. Eric is being supportive of his ex-girlfriend, Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui) who is expecting their child anytime now, while he is dating other women. And Drama is crossing his fingers to finally get recognized for his supporting role in his brother’s film so it can boost his fading career as an actor, while he is trying to deal with an internet scandal that has gone viral. The many subplots made this film feel more like an extended episode of the series than an actual movie, and I’m sure fans of the series will enjoy it more than audiences who come into it for the first time. I wasn’t a fan of this movie, but I will admit there are some funny scenes usually revolving around Ronda Rousey or Jeremy Piven’s angry outbursts. There are some great cameos as well of actors and athletes playing themselves, but they don’t all work. My favorite would have to be the scene in which Ari comes across Liam Neeson who sticks his middle finger at him and drives off as Ari yells “leave no Jews behind, Schindler.”
Doug Ellin who wrote most of the screenplays for the TV series and directed some of the episodes, writes and directs this film as well. I don’t know if the series is similar in style, but I found the movie misogynistic and disrespectful. It isn’t a satire of the Hollywood lifestyle, but a celebration of it. I didn’t really care too much for these characters despite their strong bond, but I did enjoy seeing some of the cameos and film references. If you came for the cameos they might be sufficient enough to keep you entertained, but if you expected more from this film you’re in for a major letdown because the film feels more like an extended TV episode than anything else. Entourage doesn’t stand out on its own as a film and I’d only recommend it to its TV fan base. Other than getting to see Jeremy Piven play once again the role he was meant for, there isn’t much more worth recommending about Entourage.