Entourage ran for eight seasons on HBO. It was well received critically and was well liked by the majority of people that watched it. Popular consensus on the series finale was that it was disappointing though. But to be able to go back and have a second chance… isn’t that what most of us wish for? Amidst production delays and contract issues and Kevin Connolly breaking his leg, they were finally able to make this a reality.
All the pieces were back in place. Doug Ellin and Rob Weiss came back to write it. Weiss worked on many episodes and Ellin not only wrote on almost every episode but helped create the show. He also directed several episodes and was signed on to direct the movie. The cast was all back (Plus a slew of celebrity cameos, some old some new) with the addition of Billy Bob Thornton as Larsen McCredle and Haley Joel Osment as his son Travis. They play wealthy Texas tycoons who are financing Vince’s directorial debut Hyde.
The movie has gone over budget though and Larsen would like Ari (Jeremy Piven) to take his son to Los Angeles to see what’s going on so he can learn a little about the business. In addition to this headache, Ari also has to deal with Vince (Adrian Grenier) who is being secretive and insecure about the film. The rest of the crew have all had strange role reversals as well. E (Kevin Connoly) is dealing with baby mama drama. Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon), Vince’s struggling actor older brother has finally had a breakout performance in Hyde but sleeps with a girl who has a vengeful boyfriend. Meanwhile Turtle (Jerry Ferrara), who is now extremely wealthy and in shape is working through his former insecurities in an attempt to date UFC Champion Ronda Rousey.
Let me start off saying that I was always able to follow Entourage from afar. Clint watched it and would show me specific episodes that he thought I would enjoy and fill in questions I had, so going into this I had a somewhat working knowledge of the history of Entourage. That being said, my first thought is that this is not one of those movies you need to have watched the show for. On the contrary, this would be a good introduction to these characters for someone who’s never seen it to then choose if they wanted to go back and watch the series.
There’s been a lot of negative criticism that instead of doing a “movie” they simply made an extra-long star studded episode of the series and didn’t push the characters into any new situations. Brian Tallerico from RogerEbert.com in particular said, “Instead of challenging his characters or giving them something new to do, Ellin just high fives them on the way to the winner’s circle”. To that, I say, so what? You know what’s better than a chili cheese hot dog? A footlong chili cheese hot dog. A high five on the way to the winner’s circle is not a bad way to wrap up a series that ran for eight seasons.
The only real negative I had is that E’s subplot is pretty stupid and never really goes anywhere. Other than that, it was almost like a reunion with old friends. We shared a lot of laughs and talked about old times (I laughed out loud several times and I was by myself). Jeremy Piven is still electric in the role that garnered him a Golden Globe and three consecutive Emmy’s. Almost every celebrity cameo is fantastic, including new ones and old favorites that appeared in the show. Entourage has always seemed to have a strange dichotomy between over-the-top and probably-how-it-really-is that’s inherently enjoyable, if not relatable.
All in all, if was like going to one of your favorite restaurants, ordering your favorite thing there, and it coming out the same as it always does. This is a perfect comfort food movie. If you liked the show, you will probably like the movie. If you hated the show, don’t watch it. If you’ve been wondering about the show, give it a shot. From a casual fan, it was a fun way to spend two hours. Do like the movie implies. Grab your friends and go. B-
T-Bagz would prefer James Cameron’s version of Aquaman to James Wan’s