At the Cinema: Entourage

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   I was just a young lad entering college when Entourage premiered. I remember being late to the party and truly finding the show around season 3, bingeing (before it was a thing) it until I was completely caught up. I had never seen anything like this show. Four friends who are family trying to navigate the treacherous waters known as Hollywood with only each other for support. It was amazing! Looking back, I see that this was most likely HBO’s answer for the “fellas” to Sex and the City because something like this wouldn’t normally go on for as long as it did, but kudos to HBO for keeping Vinnie’s torch alive and burning for this long.

   After the season 8 series finale, there were immediately rumors of a possibility of a movie it was just a matter of time and scheduling. Fast forward four years across money squabbles, will they, won’t they, script changes, cameo problems, etc. and we finally have the movie that every Entourage fan has been waiting for. It was good that the series finale at least gave us some type of closure on all of the gang’s storylines, but there had always been that itch for just a little bit more that we as fans could never quite reach until now.

   First and foremost, this movie is absolutely hilarious!

   I was able to see an advanced screening about three weeks ago and sitting amongst all age ranges and demographics the entire theater was rolling in laughter throughout the film. There is no question that even if you aren’t a huge fan of the series you will find something to laugh out loud about. And on that note, you do not have to have seen any of the previous episodes to understand this film. You can go into it completely oblivious and still have a great time. If you have seen an episode and liked it, then you’ll love this movie. No question. Even my wife, who has no love for the show, said that this looked funny. Which means I’ve already booked my tickets for a second showing.

   The film is basically an elongated version of an episode and this is literally the highest compliment I can pay it. A lot of critics are trying to pan the movie by saying that this was a problem among other things such as it’s not very good, but this is the beauty of Hollywood movies. It doesn’t have to be very good….it just has to make money. And Entourage will make money because it warrants multiple viewings. I was so enthralled by this movie that I knew that I missed jokes, partly because I was laughing increasingly harder as the movie progressed. Nevertheless, this is the type of film that after you’ve seen it if you’re able to find another group of friends to go with you will because you’ll want to share in the experience. So that alone will garner millions more dollars than critics are expecting. So from me to you…don’t make the mistake of going into this with a serious approach. This is meant to be a fun movie and an overall fun time.

   What I appreciated the most about transferring these stories from television to film is that unlike the show in its 30 minute window the film actually had time to develop each of the character’s own stories in a way where they each had their own arcs along with shared arcs of struggle throughout the movie. Because of that balance it’s hard to identify which storyline I loved the most.

– Ari:    struggle of maintaining his family amid becoming the studio head / finding more money for Vinnie’s movie “Hyde”

– Vince:    keeping his confidence after directing and starring in a film that’s questionable / wooing the main financier 

 ( Vince actually has less to do than all the others, but as a fan that’s absolutely perfect)

– Drama:    as always, the struggle for relevance and a 2nd career

– Turtle:    Ronda Rousey…. / and just how much money is he actually worth? 

   To me, Eric has the best story of them all. Writer and director Doug Ellin finally decides to unleash Eric on Hollywood after his relationship with Sloan is left at an interesting point. Sloan is having the baby and is planning on moving to New York but not letting Eric come with her due to their continued relationship problems. Because of this, Eric starts to just not care about who he’s with which is a major change from the Eric we’ve seen over 8 seasons. This leads to one of the best scenes of the entire series/movie when he is finally confronted by two of the ladies he had be messing around with.

   The best part about this entire film and series for that matter is that no matter what pitfall that seems to await them they boys always seem to land on their feet. Even Ari walks a tightrope on a couple of occasions but whether he likes it or not he’s a part of Vince’s family and therefore qualifies him to always come out okay. Normally, this would bother people because it’s almost too clean of an ending, however, this is Entourage and by now it’s just par for the course. And the most beautiful part is that you don’t really care while watching it. Like I said earlier, this is just a fun theater experience and you are simply meant to enjoy the ride.

   The only knock I have on the story is a minor one which is probably unavoidable by using the formula of just taking an episode and making it longer. The pacing towards the end of the second act drags a bit and as I mentioned earlier Vince is given little to do so they attempt to pair him up with Emily Ratajkowski which is just boring. They needed a semi-pretty face to pair with him for the movie. Personally, I think they could’ve done better. It’s the only small knock I have to give on an otherwise amazingly fun movie.

    Even the slower parts don’t matter because you are still smiling and laughing the entire time. If you’re unsure about seeing Entourage, my advice is probably to wait. Understand though, that I am an unashamed bias fan who’s seen every episode of the series at least twice and who deep down is praying that SyFy will pick up “Viking Quest” after the success of this movie. I’ve loved following these brothers for the better part of seven years and their loyalty to one another is something to envy. We all want friends like these (if we don’t already have them). I can safely say I do……and I plan on taking them to see Entourage……….TWICE!

Parting Thoughts:

– so. many. cameos.

– Drama vs. Ari for who steals this movie more!

– E’s lost his morals and I’m strangely okay with it

– Turtle/Rousey round-a-bout was fun to watch progress

– Drama’s sex tape

– I do NOT ship Vince/Emily (she’s not attractive to me)

– EXCELLENT ENDING!

– Oscar nomination in the film and possibly FOR the film???

– VICTORY!!!!!!!

Overall, I got to give Entourage a solid 5 Garys

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