Published on June 22nd, 2015 | by Conor Smyth0
Entourage isn’t really a movie. It’s a feature-length wrap-up of the massively successful HBO show of the same name, which told the story of a group of bromantic friends from Queens who live the high life in la-la-land when the beautiful one gets tapped for stardom. Loosely based on the banter of producer Mark Wahlberg and his buddies, the show combined a lightly-worn underdog spirit with glossy lifestyle porn. The film is, as everyone has pointed out, basically a bunch of TV episodes strung together, a fist-bumping victory lap for the already-smug. In basic story-telling terms, nothing really happens: there’s no arc, no development, no stakes, no growth. Indeed, so committed is creator Doug Ellin to the status quo of free-wheeling bachelordom that he ditches Vincent Chase’s (Adrian Grenier) still-fresh marriage, around which the TV finale was orientated, less than five minutes in.
Vinny reunites with his chest-beating former agent turned studio head Ari Gold (an enjoyably manic Jeremy Piven, whose outbursts provide some laughs) for a big-budget project, but Vinny demands full-on auteur control. He really wants to bang Emily Ratajkawski but so does the son (Haley Joel Osment) of the Texan billionaire who’s financing the whole production (Billy Bob Thornton). His jealously cuts off the money supply, but whenever the conflict is brought up, everyone in the room agrees that yes, they too want to bang Emily Ratajkawski, so who can really blame the kid. Meanwhile, Vinny’s manager ‘E’ is no longer dating his pregnant ex, so he starts banging hot random women (aided by his good mate Johnny Drama, who drugs him with ecstasy and Viagra). Their friend Turtle, now trim and obscenely wealthy, wants to bang MMA superstar Ronda Rousey, but is worried she’s only interested in his Tequila millions (we’ve all been there guys!). In the world of Entourage, all human endeavour is simply the by-product of blue balls.
The film’s strict policy against self-awareness gives the boys the Midas touch. After E’s pill-powered one-night stand, he gets a call from the girl claiming to be pregnant, doubling the amount of offspring he has on the way. When he meets up with her they are interrupted by another girl, his recent ex, who suggests he should get himself checked for STDs. For a minute it looks like the boys’ bang-tastic lifestyle might be catching up with them, forcing a moment of pause on treating women like disposable fuck-holes, until it’s revealed to be a double-team prank meant to teach him a lesson. Bullet dodged, E laughs it off (bitches be crazy!). In the main plot, Vinny is spunking away oil money on his blockbuster personal project, named Hyde, in which he’s a sort of futuristic DJ with superpowers. There’s a lot riding on the success of the movie, but after the money troubles subside and production is completed, everyone agrees that it’s a work of genius, even though the footage we see makes it look like goofy garbage.
The movies have a long and healthy tradition of biting the hand that feeds them, portraying Hollywood as a seedy, vacuous place full of awful people making money they don’t deserve. With its endless treadmill of random cameos of celebs playing themselves, Entourage is the opposite, the cinematic equivalent of a desperate, star-spotting house tour that delivers the thrill of seeing a Baldwin brother taking out the bins. Again, Entourage isn’t really a film. It’s more like a commercial for narcissism, for the baller lifestyle sold by a thousand beer adverts, for stuff, for Instagrammable bodies, for not having anything to say but always winning anyway, for the awesomeness of being rich and famous and permanently unburdened. The eternal sunshine of the self-satisfied mind. Conor Smyth
Summary: Director: Doug Ellin