Entourage (2015)

entourageposter

Superstar Vinny Chase (Adrien Grenier) is fresh off a nine day marriage and finds himself off the shore of Ibiza on a massive yacht, surrounded by gorgeous women. A boat arrives, bringing his three best friends who round out his entourage. Johnny “Drama” Chase (Kevin Dillon), Vince’s half-brother who also works in Hollywood (sort of), E (Kevin Connolly), Vince’s manager and oldest friend, and Turtle (Jerry Ferrera), Vince’s other best-friend. When Vince gets a call from none other than Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven), his old agent and now studio head, Vince gets to star in his first film on the condition that he can direct. What could go wrong?

The boys are back in the game.
The boys are back in the game.

Entourage plays out like a mini marathon of the show and I mean that in the best way possible. I’ve spent the last few weeks burning trough the HBO show and have been absolutely loving it. The comradery these guys share is so enjoyable, despite all their debauchery and the male fantasy visor put over the show and film. Lots of people can go see this film (or the show) and complain about the male fantasy and the fact that this show asks us to embrace these sometimes deplorable, privileged, often misogynistic men. To me, if you view the film that way you’re missing the entire point.

The film feels exactly like 4 episodes of the show, turned into a nice two-hour foray in the theater. What I greatly appreciated about the show is that it’s not all about Vince and we get to spend time with each member of the group, exploring their chaotic and hilarious escapades. They realize they live a lavish lifestyle and they could all have their own places and own careers, but they have a loyalty to one another which shines especially bright in the film. These guys have gone through everything together and that doesn’t change here. Listening to their back-and-forths and how they tease and encourage one another is arguably the best part of the movie. That aspect of comradery is enough to convince first time viewers that these guys have a well established past that made them who they are today.

Ari is promising the big show.
Ari is promising the big show.

This time around, the stakes are even higher for the guys with Vince wanting to direct for the first time. Grenier plays his character with a cool, relaxed demeanor as usual and he feels like the least influential guy in the whole film. Grenier breezes his way through the film, leaving Connolly and Piven the greatest chunks of the film. Connolly is in a position where his ex girlfriend is having his child and he’s still trying to win her back, but is enjoying single life with the guys. Piven’s anger driven Ari lets loose the hounds of hell when he speaks (read: yells) and his rants are absolutely glorious. Dillon’s Drama is undoubtedly the funniest character on the show and in the film, with one liners and observations that leave you laughing so hard that you miss the next line. Ferrara is given the least to do, but we do see a more emotional and responsible side to Turtle when Ronda Rousey steps into his life.

Much like in the show, we never actually see any of the films that Vince has done. We find ourselves joining the entourage for the pre-production, filming, editing, and post-production. As frustrating as that sometimes is, it does set up a lot of tension between certain characters and expands upon the formula used in the film. Collegehumor has a video about every episode of Entourage, in which the formula goes: Vince can’t do the movie, until he can do it by chance and then the guys all celebrate together. That’s essentially what this film is too, but it’s such a good time. There are celebrity cameos a plenty (with some having a greater impact than others) and those only add to the shock and awe value of the film. Are they necessary? Probably not. Is it extremely fun to see certain celebrities playing distorted versions of themselves? Absolutely.

Is this the boy's shot at super stardom?
Is this the boy’s shot at super stardom?

In our hypersensitive society, Entrouage will probably be torn apart by the realm of Tumblr and the self-proclaimed social justice warriors of the internet. This film and the show, to me, felt extremely satirical and self-aware of all of the excess in these guy’s lifestyle. It’s the male fantasy no doubt, but that doesn’t make it a bad show or movie. The characters have some depth to them, but not enough to make them feel like anything but characters. The characters never face any real problems that aren’t conveniently and quickly solved and the abrupt ending to the film sort of left me scratching my head. It’s a fun ending, but it comes out of nowhere and felt pretty rushed. There are also a dozen subplots that mean next-to-nothing in the film and while they don’t contribute much of anything, they’re still humorous.

Entourage is not meant to be taken all that seriously. Everything is taken at face value and everyone understands that the lives these men lead aren’t real. They crack jokes about women and make questionable comments and the audience is aware that they’re not the most upstanding guys. However, it’s really hard not to laugh whenever these guys do or say anything bad because it’s acknowledged that they’re fictitious portrayals. Piven’s character alone is one of the most exaggerated in T.V history and it’s clear that there really isn’t anyone like him in real life. The film makes some comments about the industry through humor and they do a great job. Men will especially love the film, but I also believe that everyone can enjoy the film if they know that it’s not real.

Entourage Trailer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGSE_XPF4_g

4 STARS!!!

4 / 5 stars     

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