Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) and the boys are back, this time on the big screen. This time out, Chase is making his directorial debut on the fictional film Hyde, with Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) as the studio head who greenlit the film. Of course, very little in Chase’s life runs smoothly, and trouble soon arises in the form of financier Larsen McCredle (Billy Bob Thronton) and his son Travis (Haley Joel Osment).
Entourage, the HBO TV show, vanished from our screens in 2011, but if you even saw a moment of the show, which ran for eight seasons, then you will know what’s in store here… And to be fair, if you haven’t seen the TV show, then Entourage is not aimed at you.
The entire cast is back – Adrian Grenier, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara, Jeremy Piven, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Perrey Reeves, Debi Mazar… You get the idea. Each reprises the role they had on the small screen and, fans will be delighted to know, they do it well. As well as the regulars, the movie is full to bursting with familiar faces, including Billy Bob Thornton in a small role, Haley Joel Osment as a selfish Texan struggling with arrested development, and a host of cameos, including Liam Neeson, Kelsey Grammer, Judy Greer, Jessica Alba, Thierry Henry, TI, Gary Busey, Jon Favreau and Pharrell Williams.
The story, by Doug Ellin, tracks the usual chaos that follows Vincent Chase and his crew, but this time it is success that is tripping up the entourage, not impending failure. The dialogue is pretty gosh darn terrible, as you may expect, and the level of misogyny and painting woman as simply ‘crazy’ is in keeping with the feel of the TV show, but makes the entire film feel dated. As well as this, the film celebrates the bromance and the casting off of women as expendable, while never quite seizing the chance to satirise the Hollywood studio model, an opportunity that is glaringly missed.
As director, Doug Ellin carries on the style of directing from the TV show; lots of shots of pretty people and things in sunny places, with rock music playing over it to make it seem cooler than it really is. The pacing of the film is a mess, as it often is with TV shows turned into movies, with the film dragging its heels for most of the running time. As well as this, none of the characters ever seem to truly learn anything from their experiences, and seem doomed to continue through their lives making the same mistakes over and over again.
In all, Entourage is a film that feels completely unnecessary, and does nothing to make up for the disastrous final season of the TV show. Fans will be delighted, but the shine has truly worn off; the cameos get to be distracting and no-one seems to learn anything at all, making Entourage a lesson in ego, and little else.