Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Review: Entourage

Entourage is one of those movies that the viewer knows is going to be bad even before he or she sits down in their seat.  It’s also the rare occasion where the viewer is okay with that, because the act of paying for a ticket to go watch a movie that is an extension of a TV show that ended four years ago (but actually wasn’t that good for its last three years), is an act of acquiescence.  That’s not a judgment.  It’s a statement of fact.  It’s why a person goes back to a long lost ex even when that relationship ended poorly – to forget about all the warts and shortcomings in exchange for the comfort of something familiar.  And like any short-lived reunion with a former paramour, Entourage (the movie) offers a little bit of closure without any real catharsis.

The show had a run of about 20 episodes where it was as good as anything on television.  A show bathed in self-congratulatory narcissism, excess, and winks and nods aimed at those on the lunatic fringe of Hollywood, ultimately was a story of enduring friendships.  The opening act of the movie takes us back to this place and catches us up with a where-are-they-now set of scenes.  The phones are different (adieu, Blackberry), the cars are Cadillacs, and Turtle is skinny, but other than that, everything looks and feels the same.  And there is a sense of vacuous shallow comfort to be found in the status quo.

As for the rest of the movie, it feels like a ten-episode season crammed into ninety minutes.  An exhaustive Congo line of celebrity cameos and references to every celebrity fad that has hit during Entourage’s absence almost make you forget that there is a plot to the film and a goal to be met.  Like every Entourage season, friendships are challenged, lovers are found and lost and sometimes found again, parties are thrown, and somewhere along the way four bumbling fools from New York manage to make things come together.

Watching this play out is like forgoing the ice cream sundae and eating the whip cream straight from the can.  It’s not good; it’s not substantive; but it’s absolutely a guilty pleasure.  And if you loved the show, you will enjoy the movie.  Not because it has evolved or breaks new ground, but because it will take you back to a time and place where things are light and feel-good and for a couple of hours you’ll get to see some characters that you devoted thirty minutes of your Sunday night to.  And if you’re not a fan of the show or never watched it, then not only is there no reason for you to see the movie, but there’s also no reason for you to be reading this post.

If this were another movie, I would be typing snarky reference after snarky reference about how much of a waste of time, money, and effort this movie was, but I was a fan of the show.  I was an east coaster who had just moved out to Los Angeles when the show started airing; and many of the places that made LA seem so magnificent onscreen on those Sunday nights, were the very things that made me love this city.  So watching the movie was enjoyable to me even though I knew I was watching a film that is very much on par with those movie-of-the-week productions that Drama was always trying to get.

So if you were a fan of the show, you should definitely watch it.  It’s not going to change how you felt about the show when it went off-air some four years ago, but it will give you some closure as you find out whatever became of Ari, Vince, et al.  It’s not a movie that has to be seen on the big screen.  In fact, I would recommend watching it via a more economically friendly distribution channel, but it deserves a look.  If this is the last we see of the crew (and judging by last weeks box office, it is) then it is a nice ending for Vinnie Chase and the Chasers.


  1. Good review! I will catch it on when it's on Netflix or On Demand.