Billy's Film Reviews.

A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!

Entourage – 2015

entourage_xlg“Entourage”

ˈɒntʊrɑːʒ,ˌɒntʊ(ə)ˈrɑːʒ/
Noun
A group of people attending or surrounding an important person
1. “An entourage of loyal courtiers”

____________________________________________________________

The big-name bros from L.A are back, offering more, more, more!
Leaping out of the HBO hit series onto the big screen; Vinnie, Turtle, Eric and Johnny demonstrate exactly why I have no intention of becoming a huge Hollywood film star…

Having not seen the show myself, it was clear from frame one that what I’d heard and briefly seen from the odd episode would appear in the film, only on a much larger scale. Some have said the “Entourage” movie is simply an episode of the show that lasts 104 minutes, but I disagree.
Many shows have capitalised on the markets of two separate mediums, and there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just that some shows lend themselves to the cinematic world more than others; “Entourage” appears to be one of those shows.
How well did it transition? Can non-fans still enjoy themselves? Why does one of them insist on wearing a fedora?!

second-official-trailer-entourage-movie-02Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) is a successful movie star, and after he receives a phone call from his eccentric, turbulent agent Ari Gold, an enormous film project is organised, one that will see Chase starring and directing for the first time.
The film, entitled “Hyde”, is set for OSCAR glory, however as most blockbusters headed by inexperienced people with gratuitous budgets tend to wind up, Chase’s passion project runs severely over budget, potentially jeopardising his and Ari’s career.

Doug Ellin, the producer and writer of the “Entourage” series returns to write and direct the film, which has a comforting sense of continuity about it. There are carry-over references throughout the film that may or may not fly over non-viewer’s head, but that’s to be expected.
The trick is to attract a new audience who will go back and visit the series, whilst also satisfying the diehards. “Entourage” tends to achieve this balance quite well, expect there were points where it became a little restless and unsatisfying.

The characters themselves are unlikable for the most part, particularly Eric and Johnny.
Johnny (played by Kevin Dillon) is everything you despise in an actor. Rude, loud, misogynistic and in denial, Johnny fits the dynamic of the group, but on his own, he becomes exposed for what he really is.

main-imageThis is not indicative of Kevin Dillon as a person, and perhaps that’s the point of his character, but for a non-viewer of the series, he was very hard to engage with. There are laughs on his account, and even a moment of empathy, but they were overpowered by his lesser qualities in the film.

Eric (played by Kevin Connolly) on the other hand appears to be nothing more than a spoiled, self-indulged little brat that doesn’t understand he’s perhaps a worse individual than Johnny. Unapologetically sleeping around, refusing to commit and strutting as if he’s top dog really ground my gears.
Again, perhaps that’s the point of the show; these four larrikins are the spoiled, exceedingly wealthy archetypes of the industry that we are meant to feel intimidated, envious and fascinated by.

The real star of the show, or film, is Jeremy Piven’s Ari Gold. Having not seen much of any other character, Ari Gold has managed to break his way into conversation, news-feeds and various other sources of communication to allow me to understand the magnitude of the man.

DSC_2492.tiffGold is fantastically written and structured character, embodied perfectly by Piven, so much so that he falls victim to the “forever-associated-with” syndrome, much like his other fellow cast members.

“Entourage” exhibits arguably the greatest number of cameo appearances in a motion picture. The likes of Mark Wahlberg, Liam Neeson, T.I., Ronda Rousey, Thierry Henry, Gary Busey, Bob Saget, Mike Tyson, Ed O’Neill, Kelsey Grammer, Jessica Alba, Armie Hammer, Jon Favreau, David Spade, Tom Brady, Piers Morgan and Emily Ratajkowski make up the majority of celebrity appearances, but there are several others to look out for, some of which only occupying a couple of seconds of screen time.
Pharrell Williams’ appearance is strange and incredibly convenient within a certain scene. Apart from being curious about Williams’ choice of head attire, it was just one of many moments that seemed abrupt, convenient or unexplored within the film.
Billy Bob Thornton and Haley Joel Osment play a pivotal father/son pairing that have a financial stronghold over Ari and the team, but their characters don’t offer much in the way of depth.

Entourage-4In response to comments saying the film is just like one big episode of the show, I disagree, and do so knowing full well my judgments aren’t completely backed by evidence. The film feels very cinematic; it has a cinematic sheen, it exhibits cinematic techniques and demonstrates its large $65,000,000 budget in certain aspects (probably securing all the cameos…).
Like the “Sex and the City” films, they have a spark to them, a shimmer, filmic tinge that distinguishes itself to the HBO series.
There is no better example than “The Simpsons Movie” when it comes to the enormous shift. This is not a criticism, but “Entourage” is a clear-cut example of the ever-growing trend of series to movies.

Ultimately, “Entourage” is a pretty fun time at the movies. With laughs popping up regularly enough to carry the story along and enough on offer to appeal to non-viewers of the series (of a certain age), “Entourage” has done its job.
It’s rather uneven in structure, plus it feels as though it wants to throw absolutely everything it can into every shot, but I guess that’s what it’s all about, excess!

3/5

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