ENTOURAGE (USA/15A/104mins)
Directed by Doug Ellin. Starring Adrien Grenier, Kevin Connolly, Jerry Ferrara, Jeremy Piven, Kevin Dillon, Billy Bob Thornton, Haley Joel Osment, Emmanuelle Chriqi, Perrey Reeves, Debi Mazar.
Picking up right from where the TV series left off, with movie star Vince (Grenier) insisting that the first movie under his agent-turned-studio-boss Ari Gold (Piven) be one that he not only stars in but directs too. Big movie stars insisting that they finally direct themselse, as anyone will tell you, always works out just great. Chief financier is Texas oil billionaire Larsen McCredle (Thornton), who, along with his idiot son (Osment), so, when this sci-fi superhero movie goes over-budget, hey, drama unfolds. Texan billionaire style.
THE VERDICT: It’s been four years since HBO called time on the behind-the-Hollywood-scenes series that ran for eight years and, well, nothing has changed. Which is possibly a good thing. Or a bad thing.
Hard to tell with this pretty-good-episode outing, ENTOURAGE never having quite managed the male bonding on Diner nor the biting backstage satire of The Larry Sanders Show, having settled instead for SEX & THE CITY for boys.
The gang’s all here, including Gernier’s movie star Vince, Matt Dillon’s B-list-actor brother as Vince’s B-list-actor half brother, the slippery Jeremy Piven as slippery superagent Ari Gold.
The presence of the adult, oddly-shaped Haley Joel Osment as the numbskull son can only make you think of Will Ferrell’s soap opera mini-series spoof THE SPOILS OF BABYLON, and the producers here really should have chased the neanderthal-featured comic genius for Thornton’s role here. Mainly because Thornton is a dick, and extremely hard to watch without being reminded of the fact that he is a dick.
So, not dreadful, but nothing to write a Hollywood script about either.
Review by Paul Byrne

Review by Paul Byrne
2.0Nothing has changed
  • filmbuff2011

    Running for 8 seasons from 2004 – 2011, Entourage was loosely inspired by the experiences of underwear model turned rapper turned actor Mark Wahlberg. Given that it focused on Hollywood hopefuls trying to make it big, it was perhaps inevitable that a film would follow. Entourage the movie gathers the gang back together again: star Vince (Adrian Grenier) is making his first stab at directing with mutant flick Hyde; his older brother Johnny (Kevin Dillon) is struggling to get past bit parts and find the one role that will define his career; Eric (Kevin Connolly) finds himself surrounded by a bevy of women; and Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) pursues stand-offish MMA fighter Ronda Rousey. Meanwhile, Ari (Jeremy Piven) is now a studio head and is nervously guiding Vince’s film Hyde through stormy waters – particularly when Texan investor Larsen (Billy Bob Thornton) and his son Travis (Haley Joel Osment) have second thoughts about the movie and start rocking the boat… Keeping things bright and breezy, director Doug Ellin makes some funny comments about both Hollywood and the vampish individuals who both nurture and drain it of life. This reviewer admits to not watching the TV series before, but went to the film on the strength of potential Hollywood satire. There’s a lot to enjoy here even if you haven’t seen the series. A hilarious scene in which Vince is locked out of the editing room by Travis is typical of the shenanigans that go on in Tinseltown. The by now well-established rapport between the actors is fun to watch, with the under-rated Dillon particularly funny. Look fast for lots of celebrity cameos, including a blink and you’ll miss him Liam Neeson. Some of the celebrity cameos were unfamiliar to this reviewer though – who is Emily Ratajkowski? While poking fun at Hollywood, you never get the sense that Ellin really means it. This is at the lower, gentler end of Hollywood satire, compared to, say, The Player which was merciless. A bit more edginess in the script and character development might have made it sharper and more interesting than it actually is. But on the whole, this is still an enjoyable and often funny film that passes the time adequately. ***