At the height of Entourage’s TV fame, the world was a different place. We hadn’t yet been exposed to the juggernaut that was to become the Kardashian’s reality TV popularity, and, if truth be told, we were still watching bloody The Hills for our reality TV fix. There were still remnants of Paris Hilton floating around. Twitter was a nothing. The Avengers was a nothing. Some of us probably still had Von Dutch attire, trucker caps and all (please don’t admit to that). That was the world that Entourage was introduced to us in, and my oh my, stepping in to watch the Entourage film, highly anticipated by its legion of fans, was like stepping into a portal to the past.
If you were a fan of the original TV series and you’re expecting much of the same antics from Vinnie Chase (Adrian Grenier) & Co., then congratulations – you’ll be handsomely rewarded. The film opens on the open waters off the coast of Ibiza, and the guys are on a boat (cue “I’m On a Boat” by The Lonely Island – just kidding, but seriously, not far from it!), topless ladies scattered on board like a Robin Thicke video clip. Vinnie decides he wants to direct his next film, and his entourage rally round him, as does Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven), his old agent. The only thing stopping them from making this blockbuster hit is their financial backer, Larsen McCredle (played by Billy Bob Thornton) and his son Travis (played by Haley Joel Osment, wow he does NOT look like a guy who can see dead people!). Will the movie get off the ground? Will this give Vincent Chase the serious film credibility he craves? Will Johnny Drama’s “small but pivotal role” in the film be his comeback? If you were a fan of the original TV series, then you won’t care how, or if, these questions get answered. The fact of the matter is, you’re there to see the boys living large, and that’s exactly what they do.
There is certainly no shortage of references to the series. Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon), god bless him, is still struggling for a spot in the limelight, and he still gets fame in the most hilarious ways. Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) is still Turtle; somehow he’s gone from the driver to a business mogul, and even tries to score with MMA fighter Ronda Rousey. Eric (Kevin Connolly), the sweet one-woman-man, is still connected to Sloan … sort of. Fans are definitely not left wondering how the guys turned out, because these loose ends are all tied up nicely. The most quintessential elements of each of the main characters is revisited again in the film, so fans are definitely not disappointed.
If you’re watching this film without having seen any or enough of the series, or you’ve come a long way from 2011 (the year the series ended), then you will definitely see some holes in the entire premise of the film. Nope, the series. Nope, this world. Why is Ari so fucking horrible to Lloyd (yes, Lloyd is still around, although not as Ari’s assistant. This time it’s Scott Mescudi – a.k.a Kid Cudi, but Ari isn’t half as shitty to him as he was to Lloyd in the series)? Why, if Vinnie’s career has been in the doldrums for so long, is he still living the high life? And for god’s sake what is Ari’s wife’s NAME? We’ve come a long way from 2004 (when the series first premiered), and for some of us, a lot of the film’s jokes and references might not resonate well, if at all.
The film is packed with about every celebrity the producers could get their hands on, including, but not limited to, Jessica Alba, Pharrell, Warren Buffet, George Takei and Mark Wahlberg. The best cameos go to Ronda Rousey and to George Takei.
All in all, if you’re a fan of the series, make a plan to see Entourage, as you won’t be disappointed. If you’re in it just to see what all the fuss is about, all you need to know is this: it’s just what you would imagine a film portraying the self-indulgent end of Hollywood to be about.
Review Score: TWO AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Running Time: 104 minutes
Entourage is screening in Australian cinemas from 4th June 2015 through Roadshow Films