I was a fan who caught every episode of the HBO show, but now that it has been adapted to the big screen it feels like torture. Entourage has Hollywood movie star Vinny Chase (Adrian Grenier) insecure about his first stint as a director, whose futuristic take on a Robert Louis Stevenson classic “Hyde” has gone over budget on its $100 million price tag. Larger than life agent Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) is demanding Vinny to show the film to the financiers before they chalk over more money to Vinny so he can finish post-production work. About halfway in, we see two minutes of “Hyde,” and I tell you, if it was a real movie it would be as big of horse manure as a Rob Zombie or Ronny Yu movie (hence, dreck). In this deluded universe, however, key people think “Hyde” is fantastic.
The director of “Entourage” itself is its original creator and oft director Doug Ellin, who has made a feature length movie that feels stuck in TV land. The camerawork, lighting, editing and transitions are more suited to the coarseness of the bad television of MTV than HBO. But hey, guilty pleasures abound! We get scenes of Vinny and his boys’ (Kevin Connolly, Jerry Ferrara, Kevin Dillon) throwing mansion parties, featuring more NFL stars than movie stars for some reason, and girls with fake tits dancing around in bikinis.
What I don’t think Ellin and executive producer Mark Whalberg even realize about their own conception when it aired the first few seasons, is that “Entourage” was a great show because it satirized the shallow Hollywood movie star who had a bright smile but really had a hack’s talent. Look at Grenier – his intelligence is transparent and doesn’t have much talent, with no mystery to his persona. What you see is what you get with him. The show was saying something about guys like Orlando Bloom, Taylor Lautner and Ashton Kutcher who are all inexplicably on the A-list just because they have a niche look. And Ari Gold was a madly inspired creation, albeit, when he started out, Gold was more of a narcissistic backstabbing bastard than the redemptive character he became.
The show at the beginning knew satire. Now all these years later we get a thin plot situation that pretty much requires Vinny to give his don’t worry everything will be all right speeches. Every “important” scene is foretelling – you can predict how every plot conflict is going to eventually turn out.
Haley Joel Osment, the kid from “The Sixth Sense” and “A.I.” who went and disappeared for years, is the fussy Texas tycoon financier, and his acting is so good he outclasses everybody else in the movie. I’m ready to call a moratorium on “Entourage” but at least I’m interested that now Osment’s back.
104 Minutes. Rated R.
COMEDY / EGOMANIA / SATURDAY NIGHT SLUMBER
Film Cousins: “The Big Picture” (1989); “The Player” (1992); “Get Shorty” (1995); “Birdman” (2014).