Review: Entourage (2015)

Part of the fun in watching HBO’s Entourage for 8 seasons was vicariously living through Vince, E, and the gang as they live a real life Bud Light “Up For Whatever” commercial. From the extravagant parties, to the lavish cars, to the women ripped out of SI’s Swimsuit issue, Entourage created a Frat Boy Disneyland that became Vince and his buddies’ playground.

After a disappointing series finale and years of rumors, the gang finally returns for a feature length film.

Entourage opens in true Entourage fashion. Vince (Adrian Grenier) and his wife divorced on their honeymoon and he’s dealing with it like any normal person would – a bikini clad yacht party off the coast of Ibiza. When newly crowned studio head Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) calls Vince to say he wants him to star in his studio film, Vince demands that Ari let him direct the project as well.

Don’t worry if you can’t remember what happened on the show that’s been over for years. Instead of a “previously on Entourage” montage, the film catches everyone up to speed on who the characters are through a (not so) fluff piece by Piers Morgan.

It wouldn’t be an Entourage without luxury problems. 8 months after Vince’s directorial demands, his film Hyde still hasn’t been seen by anyone. Not only is the film unfinished, it’s over budget and in need of more financing. Ari is forced to travel to Texas and meet with Larsen McCredie (Billy Bob Thornton), the man bankrolling the film, and his pretentious son Travis (Haley Joel Osment). Larsen refuses to give another dime until his son Travis is able to see Vince’s movie.

E (Chris Connolly) and Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui) are preparing for the birth of their baby. E’s also dating Melanie (Sabina Gadecki) why he’s trying to figure out if a future with Sloan is still a possibility. Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon) is concerned with his acting career while Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) pursues a date with UFC Champion Ronda Rousey.

Luxury problems.

The film picks up where the series ended, but feels more like the finale the series deserved. Nothing in the film is breaking new ground in the Entourage landscape we’ve grown use to. The stakes never seem too big or too out of reach for Ari and Vince to handle. What made the show great was the tension Vince’s predicaments caused the  whole group. The threat of losing everything and moving back to Brooklyn seemed to hang over the group all the time. You could feel the weight on E’s shoulders as he tried to mediate between what Ari wanted and what was best for Vince. None of that tension is present in the film. E is too preoccupied sleeping with every hot woman he meets so he’s never concerned about what’s happening to Vince’s film or his career in Hollywood.

Even with the lack of stakes in the story, Entourage still manages to capture some of the comedic magic that made it a hit show. Ari spits his spirited rants like he did during the show’s apex. Although his constant barrage of gay jokes directed at Lloyd (Rex Lee) are a lot less amusing this time around. It’s evident the quartet still has great chemistry together and adding Ari’s insanity only makes it better.

There are too many sports cameos to name. The big party scene looks like a camera panning the crowd at the ESPYs. Also,  I’m 99.9% sure Rob Gronkowski  wasn’t acting in any of his scenes There are a few hilariously timed cameos by Kelsey Grammer, Thierry Henry, Bob Saget and T.I that help carry some of the humorous scenes.

Haley Joel Osment was impressive as Travis, the spoiled rich kid who probably hears the word “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” more than he hears “no”. Travis’ dedication to being a jerk was impressive. I almost have to applaud it. Osment nailed all the awkward rich guy/hot girl moments along with Travis’ smug attitude towards the group. Osment was a great choice to play the foe to Frat Boy Disneyland. I hope we see more of him on the big screen in 2015.

Entourage is not for everyone. It mirrors the show too much to appeal to people who weren’t already fans.  The film could’ve used a beefed up story line or a plot that didn’t revolve around Vince having to do another movie. But I guess if it’s not broke, don’t’ fix it. If you loved the show, you’ll laugh and enjoy another two hours with the gang doing a lot of the same things. It’s like getting a visit from an old friend, especially if that friend likes making masturbation jokes and driving expensive cars.

Grade: B-