Review By: John Delia
Taking the HBO winner and bringing “Entourage” to the screen, writer and director Doug Ellin takes a big chance on finding an audience. While HBO is paid television for those who spend the bucks for their programming, followers tend to be those who subscribed and have watched the comedy over the years. The campy, silly and often ridiculous satire on filmmaking tries to convince its audience that sex, pervasive language, drugs and nudity are all you need to make a film a hit, but unless you are hooked from the HBO series, you may find Entourage a waste of time.
The setup involves Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven), former agent, who at the end of the series quit to be with his family that’s been neglected. His claim to fame is finding Vincent Chase in a Mentos commercial and perpetuating his rise to fame as an actor. Vincent has three buddies who he worships and are his entourage. Johnny “Drama” Chase (Kevin Dillon), idolizes his movie star brother and serves as a pseudo bodyguard, his cook and trainer. He’s carved his way out by acting in movies on Vincent’s fame, rising to a C-list actor.
Then there’s Eric Murphy (Kevin Connolly) who is Vincent’s personal manager that deals with the studios and casting agency. The third member of the entourage is Salvatore “Turtle” Assante (Jerry Ferrara), Vincent’s driver and a friend he’s had since childhood. Turtle’s always there when Vincent needs him and he’s always at the center of comical situations.
One day, Vincent gets a call from his agent and now studio head Ari who’s ready to green light his first movie. Vincent agrees to the movie, but only if he directs it. Reluctantly, Ari agrees and the comedy begins to take shape. Director and writer Doug Elim (who created the HBO series Entourage) takes his project to a new level. His audience for this film should be followers of the show when it aired for 96 episodes from 2004 to 2011. Keeping in sync with the original, he returns with the same cast that made it a hit.
He begins where he left off, with a quick recap during the opening credits and then his new wacky story that should make fans happy. If you have not seen or followed the original series you may not get it. So, my advice to you is rent at least the first season and get to know the kind of comedy the cast delivers. For myself, I went in commando with very little knowledge of the background and was not impressed. The presentation is all willy-nilly not knowing or liking most of the characters. It actually looked like the story was made up as they moved it along, ad-libbing the comedy and inventing situations on the fly. Not my cup of tea as the expression goes, but no doubt a winner for fans of the show.
Entourage has been rated R by the MPAA for pervasive language, strong sexual content, nudity and some drug use. Most of the nudity is gratuitous background at parties and as for the sex as well. But, as I understand from questions to those who followed it, that’s what the HBO’s series was like.
FINAL ANALYSIS: Only if you are a fan of the original series. (D)