There’s nothing like friendship and the comfort in knowing someone has your back no matter what. The definition of family and community is that no matter how big you fail and how much of an embarrassment you are, you’re never a failure in their eyes.
Entourage, the HBO series which aired from 2004 to 2011, put friends and family at the heart of the show. Flash forward four years later and the series has made its way to the big screen with the same theme… and unfortunately the same of everything else.
The movie picks up nine days after the show’s finale. Vincent Chase (played by Adrian Grenier) who was married in the last episode is now celebrating his freedom from Sophia Chase after getting an all-too-easy annulment… in the best way he knows possible… a yacht filled with naked, size-zero women. However, any fan of the series knows something is missing. The glue which once held the gang together is gone. But fear not, as if the gang knows they’re a boring mess, a call to arms is issued and the general answers! Vince’s longtime agent, Arid Gold (who is coming out of retirement to run a studio) joins the pack. Just like that, the boys are back in all their unnecessary glory.
Entourage focuses on Vince’s brother Johnny (Kevin Dillon), a working actor who never made it big, Vince’s childhood friend turned manager and producer Eric (Kevin Connolly), and driver/errand runner Turtle (Jerry Ferrara), who made his own fortune in specialty tequila. Vince tries to prove himself capable of helming a $100 million franchise which he will direct and star in, as a futuristic cyberpunk DJ. This is a movie he randomly undertook on a whim, and a film which looks like an utter mess and spoof of every other Hollywood disaster shot in all its grittiness. While in the real world it might have box office success, in the world of Entourage, it’s an awards contender.
Is Hyde (the movie Vince is directing) an award contender in the real world? Hell no! Can Vince act? Adrian Grier can barely act. None of this matters because Vince is popular, so much so that Ari Gold puts his career on the line.
“Conflict” does come in the form of a Texas businessman played by Billy Bob Thornton who is funding Hyde. Haley Joel Osment joins the movie as Thorton’s son, sent to hobnob with the rich and famous. The problem? He’s not part of the boy’s inner circle and much like the women in this movie, he is treated as an afterthought (minus being passed around faster than herpes in an orgy).
This is where one of the main problems lies. Entourage used to be about a group of regular people living in the insanity that is Hollywood but, no matter what, they remained real with one another. However, this notion has long passed. They have become exclusive, worth millions, and if you’re not one of them, you don’t exist. This can be soul-crushingly depressing but it’s never explored. The characters are so dead inside, having dialogue basically about nothing. They are so well protected that they aren’t even aware of complexities and battles around them, yet they win so effortlessly.
Not much can be said about the big screen adaptation aside from, why? Entourage, the TV show once had such strength and promise but instead of ending while on top, it died a slow death; stretching itself thinner than Michael Jackson’s nose.
This movie is just a continuation of that stretch; it’s transparent, light and does nothing to further these characters’ lives. It misses the point to say something important about Hollywood, or even a general comment about life, at every angle. While most movie adaptations ante up the stakes, Entourage gives no fucks about its plot or its audience.
On the surface, this movie is hilariously blinding. It packs tons of laughs, crazy antics and cameos from everyone who has ever existed in Hollywood. I was surprised to not find Marilyn Monroe’s corpse making an appearance. However, this stunt is pulled to hide the fact you’re watching nothing more than a sitcom. You’ll find more conflict crossing the street than you will in all of the two hours of this movie.
For a film about Hollywood by Hollywood, life is all good and carefree. This lack of anything to say about Tinseltown is downright ridiculous, especially when we live in a world where it’s known that female directors aren’t given a fair deal and African-American directors/actors can barely get on the lot (Samuel L. Jackson and Tyler Perry do not count). But then again, maybe Entourage is being honest about the industry. These characters are rich, white men and just last year we witnessed what was considered the whitest Academy Awards show in history.
There is a small five second moment when there’s a glimmer of a chance. A blink or you’ll miss it scene between Jessica Alba and Ari when she storms out of a sound stage to address the fact her passion project had not been greenlit, making it known she was dealing with a director who Instagrams her ass all day instead of respecting her. This is the only point where Entourage addresses that Hollywood is different for women. It reduces women into assets while Vince’s good looks help elevate him to A-list status.
This is about how deep the movie ever gets.
To attempt to enjoy this movie is to suspend all belief, expectations, and more importantly, logic. The audience is presented with this group of entitled, simple-minded men whose leader is about as deep as his motto: “Everything will work out fine.” The problem with this notion is that every time this is uttered, people automatically prepare themselves for the ceiling of life to drop on top of them. This never occurs. Yes, there are small hurdles to cross, but nothing that’s worthy of an afterthought.
Entourage is perfection, perfection of fantasy. In the real world, it’s lazy, uninspiring, empty and a disappointment. Or maybe it’s an accurate depiction of Hollywood. Either way, no one should trade a moment of their life for this empty mess of a movie.