Writer: Doug Ellin
Cast: Adrian Grenier, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara, Jeremy Piven, Billy Bob Thornton, Haley Joel Osment, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Ronda Rousey, Emily Ratajkowski
Running time: 104 mins
The lowdown: The ride ain’t over, says the poster and it’s not wrong. Everyone returns for another go-round in this big screen spin-off of the male Sex and the City, from main cast to series favourite celeb cameos. Joining them is a whiff of over-familiarity and a grasping for past glories. Hitting the reset button and largely ignoring the final season’s ending, it’s business as usual for the gang. Meaning Entourage may have gone big screen n’ widescreen but feels like five episodes strung together. Aquaman level box office is unlikely.
The full verdict: There is a scene in 30 Rock when Tina Fey’s character addresses a crowd of belligerent, self-professed idiots. “Because of you, there may be an Entourage movie,” she warns.
It’s taken four years, but that movie is here. And nothing has changed. Movie star Vinnie Chase (Greiner) is single again after his marriage to Alice Eve’s character ends in nine days. And he’s still worrying his latest movie may flop, ending his career as a director rather than actor this time. Gone Girl’s Emily Ratajkowski is on hand to sooth his brow…
E (Connolly) is off again with Sloane (Chiquiri) in their interminable on-off relationship. Although she is pregnant to mix it up.
Rather than being the king of the world promised to him at the end of season 8, Ari (Piven) is merely heading up a movie studio. Taking a punt on Vinnie’s big budget directorial debut, Hyde, a futuristic reimagining of Robert Louis Stevenson’s horror classic, his role as fixer has changed little from the show.
Johnny Drama (Dillon) is still scrabbling for TV bit parts and Turtle (Ferrara), now a Tequila magnate, is again celebrity dating, this time Fast & Furious 7’s Ronda Rousey.
New blood includes Billy Bob Thornton (woefully underused) and Haley Joel Osment (amusingly moronic) as Texan dad n’ junior billionaires, withholding money Vinnie needs to complete his movie.
In 22-ish minute chunks, Entourage’s throwaway plotting and soapiness was enjoyable, disposable telly, with enough laughs (usually courtesy of Piven’s profane Ari) to warrant tuning in each week.
But, extended to 104 mins the dramatic inertia, charisma free performances, glossy promo shots of LA, and ogling of barely legal flesh soon grows tiresome. Plus, a concentrated dose of casual misogyny (women are either meat trophies or shrewish harpies looking to sabotage the boys’ good times) leaves a bad taste, no matter how much flavoured booze is shown flowing.
Writer/director and original showrunner Doug Ellin soups up the series’ opening credits for cinema. Ironically though, his creation seems dwarfed on the big screen, the TV cast not bringing sufficient wattage to illuminate the auditorium. And from what we see of Vinnie’s Hyde, it’s a dog of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter proportions.
A generous roster of celebrity cameos hit and miss, the best being Kelsey Grammar dissing Frasier’s chosen profession and Armie Hammer unleashing comic intensity.
But, you know a film is in trouble when it relies on a faux news report from one-man smug factory Piers Morgan to recap the entire series for audiences ignorant to the show.
Can we have the Community movie now please?