By Gary Murray
Starring Jeremy Piven, Kevin Dillon and Adrian Grenier
Written and directed by Doug Ellin
Running time 104 min
MPAA Rating R
Selig Film Rating Cable
I have never been a fan of the series Entourage. I have never waited with baited breath for HBO to deliver a new episode. Basically, I walked into the film totally cold turkey. That said, I can offer a fresh perspective on the antics of a good looking young man in the crazy world of Hollywood depicted in Entourage—the movie.
The film takes off where the series ended. If one hasn’t seen the show, the film audience gets a fast ‘refresher course’ on who the major players of this little conclave Basically, it is a bunch of NYC boys who have taken different roles in the life of Vince (Adrian Grenier) which includes big brother Johnny (Kevin Dillon). Vince’s agent was Ari (Jeremy Piven) but Ari has decided to become a studio chief. Ari has a hot property for Vince. The first problem is that Vince wants to direct. That is a sure sign of failure.
Entourage follows the sausage making process of getting the film in shape for its first public viewing. The movie is way over budget and Vince still needs more money to finish the project. Ari is forced to go and beg his Texas investor for the extra money. The investor (Billy Bob Thorton) sends his son to LA to see what happened to the first $100 million. This is another complication for Ari with the kid breathing down his back and eventually coming back with notes.
There are other impediments to the success of the first screening. They include such items as girls who may or may not be pregnant, sex tapes, MMA fights, auditions and real life pregnancies. The three guys who make–up Vince’s pack all have their side agendas that become entangled within the plot. By the time it is over, there is just enough rocket sauce to take the audience to the sequel.
Throughout the film, many celebrities have small cameo roles. The audience sees Jessica Alba, Ed O’Neill and Jon Favreau just to name a few. Gary Busey has a solid little bit of a role that generates some laughs. One is on a constant search to see the next famous face playing themselves.
Of the five male leads, Jeremy Piven gives the most bang-for-the-buck punch performance. His Ari is a firebrand of a leader but at the same time, there seems to be an artistic soul boiling underneath. It is a nice dichotomy that works on every level presented. He is every bit the cigar chewing mogul that we’ve seen depicted in films for years.
The other standout male performance was by Kevin Dillon as Johnny. He is the put upon older brother who gets no respect because he’s not as good-looking meaning he’s not as talented. But, there is this belief that he can make it despite all odds that becomes an endearing characteristic. It is truly some of the best acting in the piece.
But the world of Entourage is a very male centric world. The terrain is full of loose beautiful woman around every corner, all willing to be with less than average men. So many people are rich but have no means of support. One begins to wonder why anyone would be in any place other than the California of Entourage. It becomes the big adolescent fantasy, like a Playboy spread mixed with a Beach Boys song.
This film deserves its R Rating. There are tons of swear words and loads of naked ladies. This is not a film to take grandma or the grandkids. One wonders how it maintained the rating and didn’t get an NC-17. It had to be a close call by the MPAA.
In the end, Entourage the movie is just a bloated version of the television show. If one is a fan of the television show, then they will be a fan of the movie. One might want to hang out with the crew of Entourage once but it would not be a joy to do every day.