Friday, June 5, 2015
Starring: Kevin Connolly, Jeremy Piven and Kevin Dillon
Director: Doug Ellin
U.S. Release: June 3rd, 2015 (Rated R)
Runtime: 104 minutes
It's as if the boys from Queens never left. After an up-and-down (mostly up) run of eight impressive seasons on the premium cable channel, HBO, Entourage has officially made the jump to the big screen. Following a fairy-tale of a series finale, our favorite quartet returns to encounter a few more roadblocks on their path to stardom. And while Entourage is far from a brilliant movie, this go-around is a nostalgic and fun-filled experience that's guaranteed to transport you back to the good old days.
The new adventure picks up shortly after the series finale, where Vinny Chase (Adrian Grenier) has come awfully close to breaking the record for the shortest celebrity marriage. But once Vinny learns that Ari (Jeremy Piven) has come out of retirement and wants him to star in his first major release as studio head, the actor drops a bombshell by demanding that he direct his next project. Ari reluctantly gives the star complete control over the film and quickly learns that its success, or lack thereof, could destroy his Hollywood reign.
The most redeeming qualities surrounding Entourage are its genuine laughs and brotherly camaraderie that helped make the show an undeniable hit. Without missing a beat the writer, director and show creator, Doug Ellin, places his characters in the same dicey situations we grew to enjoy throughout the program's eight-year run. For example, Eric aka "E" (Kevin Connolly) finds himself in a nightmarish scenario with multiple women after splitting from his pregnant girlfriend, Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui). Therefore, this trip to the movies will feel exactly like a Sunday night in your living room, thanks to Kevin Dillon's priceless one-liners and the constant bro-bashing insults that flow with ease. Although Entourage is far from a top-flight film, loyal fans of the show will find more than enough enjoyment with how the movie is handled.
In its first theatrical trailer, Entourage hyped up the amount and quality of its star-studded cameos. From Super Bowl champion quarterback, Russell Wilson, to billionaire tycoon, Warren Buffett, the film brilliantly piles on its cameos early and restrains itself once the story gets moving. Speaking of the plot, here lies the movie's biggest issues. The entire storyline revolving around Billy Bob Thornton's financier character and his son (Haley Joel Osment) is extremely flimsy. While I understand there needs to be some sort of conflict involved in Entourage, this aspect of the film is poorly constructed. Thankfully, though, we're able to look past blunders such as these because the boys and Ari do what they do best, and they do it well.
About a week ago I caught an episode of The Dan Patrick Show and the host's friend, Kevin Connolly, was on via phone to discuss the movie. Connolly confirmed that there's "a number" in mind where if they reach that box office total, a sequel gets the green light. Looking into my crystal ball, I have every intention of seeing Vince, "E", Drama, Turtle and Ari back on the big screen in due time. And after seeing how this first installment was cafefully developed, that's perfectly fine with me.
Stars: 2 and a half stars out of 4