SBox Recommends: Entourage (Movie Review)

Note: SBR never spoils.

Off the bat I’ll admit one thing: I didn’t watch Entourage when it was still on. I wasn’t of age to see the show and maintain childhood innocence. The show started when I was in first grade and ended when I was in eighth. So, I wasn’t allowed to watch the show at the time. Besides, the only Entourage fan in the house was my dad. The rest of us had never seen an episode…Then the movie was announced.

My dad convinced us to watch the show in the hopes of us all seeing the movie when it came out. We started in mid-May with the first episode, then marathoned the show for a couple weeks. The week after the film came out, we were ready. Our hopes were high and patience low. We walked into a packed theater on a Tuesday night prepared to see the, little did I know, love-or-hate film of the summer.

Our thoughts were pretty much the same exiting the theater. This was an okay movie. Could’ve been better, but we were satisfied all the same.

Synopsis

Entourage is the film based on the hit HBO show, taking place after the 2011 series finale. After actor Vince’s abrupt divorce, the boys reassemble. When his former agent Ari Gold, now a studio head, gives Vince the studio’s next major project, Vince tells him he’ll only do it if he directs (which he never did before). Eight months later, the film is in post-production.

Vince asks Ari to get additional money from the film’s producers, which proves difficult seeing as the film is already over-budget.

Ari has to appease the irritable father and son producers to get the extra backing while also getting his famous temper under control.

The on-and-off relationship of E and Sloan, who is now pregnant, continues. E (Vince’s manager/friend) finds himself in moral trouble as he pursues other women.

Drama (Vince’s less successful brother) plays a small yet pivotal role in Vince’s movie, hoping this can finally be his big break.

And the now wealthy Turtle (Vince’s friend) actively tries to date Ronda Rousey.

Writing

This is something everyone has a different opinion on. So, keep in mind that you may see this film a different way depending on your personal tastes… and apparently your views on feminism. (That was a joke).

While it claims to double as both fan-film and introduction, this is a fan movie at heart. Fans will be right at home when seeing this movie. The feel is exactly the same from the show: same humor, sane scenarios, same themes. My greatest description of this film’s structure is “four episodes glued together”. This is both a strength and weakness of this movie.

On one hand, this film doesn’t stray from the formula. It eases fans back into the groove of things through an episodic structure. There are four main issues connected by one central conflict. Issues are resolved quickly and sequentially with each transitioning into the other. This film would be incredibly easy to break up into four half-hour segments.

But therein lies the problem. This format usually doesn’t work in a theatrical movie. When this occurs, it gives the audience the illusion that there’s too much going on. This is a case by case issue admittedly. I personally accepted the film’s format and was fine.

Now let’s talk about the humor and themes which is the source of all the controversy.

This film turned off many people right away with it’s humor which can be construed as misogynistic and douchey. This is actually a running complaint with the show itself, so this isn’t surprising.

This is something I can’t change your opinion on. Comedic tastes and tolerance for certain jokes vary from person to person. You’ll make of it as you will. The show is known for having a rich male outlook for the most part. It’s not exactly the main point of Entourage, but it’s part of the deal. There are a lot of these jokes, so know what you’re getting into. If you can see past it or, better yet, go along with it, you’ll be fine and have plenty of non-bro jokes to enjoy.

Critics would make you believe that the risque humor is all the film has, and that’s not true. There’s lots of observational and satirical humor to be had here. Plus, because this cast is legendary, character interactions alone are golden.

Accessibility

The cast and crew claim that, even if you never watched a single episode, you can jump right in here. In fact, they encourage people new to Entourage to watch the film first and then see the show. There’s a recap scene taking place in the first ten minutes which does a decent job of reintroducing the characters and their arcs. Notice that I say “decent” and not “ideal”.

This film is not for everyone. I’ve seen some people who were convinced to see the show after seeing the film, but unfamiliar audiences can be turned off easily by the humor. I guess it’s a coin-flip for whether it’ll convince you, but my advice for getting into Entourage is to see the show first.

Acting

As I always say, a good comedy is often defined by how good the characters are. Thankfully, this film has a proven cast and proven characters. As you would hope, they are just as good now as they always were.

Kevin Connolly (Eric), Adrian Grenier (Vince), Kevin Dillon (Drama), Jerry Ferrara (Turtle) and Jeremy Piven (Ari) give great performances. I’m pretty sure the stand-outs of the movie are Drama, E and Ari, only because they’re given more to do. Vince and Turtle get pretty weak arcs, but they were enjoyable nonetheless.

Other characters from the show also make appearances. The most prominent one is Emmanuel Chriqui as Sloan. Some get decent screentime, such as Melissa and Shauna. Others are glorified cameos getting four scenes at most, like Billy Walsh and Lloyd. Either way, there were no slouches when it came to acting.

Two characters exclusive to the movie are Billy Bob Thornton and Haley Joel Osment as the producers. Thornton barely gets any screetime, but manages to steal the show in any scene he’s in. Osment on the other hand is very much present and plays the best rich douche bag ever. God, do you wanna punch him in the face. (That’s a compliment by the way). One last new character is Ronda Rousey as herself, who is tough and funny at the same time.

As for the celebrity cameos, they’re everywhere. Normally I hate it when a movie fills itself to the brim with unnecessary cameos, but here’s an exception. For one thing, many of the cameos are nods from the show, like Bob Saget and Gary Busey. And at least the other cameos are funny. There’s something about Liam Neeson giving someone the finger that makes me die laughing.

Production Value

For a film that had as many problems as it did behind the scenes, everything came together pretty competently.

Camerawork is great, especially in those fast-paced scenes that usually have Ari in it. They also get great panoramic shots of LA and Hollywood. Capturing motion well is probably my greatest complement to both the camerawork and editing.

Music is 90-100% hip-hop, debstep or rock. I’m actually convinced there was no original music for this movie, not that it’s a problem. The best musical moment, surprise-surprise, was the theme song sequence, which is one of the best throwbacks ever.

Sound quality, direction and the few special effects there are also turn out fine. It’s the Entourage movie, so everything’s in check here.

Verdict

I liked this movie, flaws and all. I realize this is a circumstantial opinion, but it’s the one I have. I’ll wholeheartedly admit that this movie could’ve been better. Had this movie introduced the characters a bit better and ditched the episodic feel, I believe this would’ve gotten better critical reviews. However, as it is, it’s a love letter to the fans. If nothing else, it’s the series finale the show deserved.

Score: 7/10

Recommendations

This film is best suited for fans of the show. You’ll have a way better experience even if you’ve only seen up to season 6. If you haven’t seen Entourage yet, you’ll have a 50/50 shot of getting into the show through this film. That mostly depends on whether you can handle the humor. Non-fans can get into it if they decide to have fun with what’s being shown. And if you hate the show, this won’t change your mind.


This review took really long I understand, but I’m glad to get this review out before it left theaters. Let me know in the comments what you thought of the movie, because I love hearing you guys’ thoughts.

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

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