What do you look for in a film based on a television series? Do you look for a Mr Bean style adventure in an exotic location? Or do you prefer a Simpsons Movie style, where it is essentially a two hour-long episode? Well, luckily for Entourage fans, the movie has elements of both. And even luckier for Entourage fans, it is absolutely brilliant.
You see, writer, director and creator of the show, Doug Ellin, knows exactly what the fans want. There’s Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) enjoying his Hollywood A-List lifestyle, Eric Murphy (Kevin Connolly) having relationship problems with outrageously attractive women, Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon) with all his, well, drama, and of course Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) bustling through it all trying to keep everyone happy. Entourage excels because it sticks to the formula that guided it through eight successful seasons.
In the movie, Vincent has finished filming his first directorial effort ‘Hyde’ and is looking for more money from Ari, who then goes to meet the co-financiers of the film in Texas. Of course, not everything goes smoothly and soon Travis McCredle (Haley Joel Osment) is making crazy demands before he gives them the extra money.
But the plot was never really what set Entourage apart. It is just the framework to let the characters roam. Entourage has two of the greatest comic creations in television. The first is Ari Gold, who has become a household name due to his quick wit, exuberance and his seeming addiction to his work. Ellin knows exactly how to get the most out of him and, as usual, there are some hilarious moments with his family and with the entourage themselves. But the second character is the one that makes me want to watch Entourage over and over again. Johnny Drama is a tragedy worthy of Shakespeare. An over-the-hill actor desperately trying to keep working with absolutely no self-awareness of his limited talent, while his brother attains the most extraordinary success. Once you understand Drama’s way, every line he says is funny. The film is no different. When he finds out that the financier wants to cut his part from the film, there’s a cut to him swigging from a hip flask in the back of a car saying ‘Just cut me bro.’ Anyone familiar with Entourage will laugh.
The bizarre thing about the movie though has been the reaction from critics. It has received 31% on Rotten Tomatoes. There have been articles telling fans not to go and see it. Accusations of it being a cameo studded cash cow of something that was popular years ago. You have to wonder whether these people are familiar with the show. I refuse to believe that the majority of Entourage fans would be disappointed with the movie. In fact, as someone who only recently got into Entourage, this movie couldn’t have come at a better time, and I’m sure there are many others like me. As long as Hollywood exists, Entourage will remain relevant.
Entourage is exactly what fans want and expect. Ignore the critics. Except me.