Alright so let's face it, this show is scuzzy, sleazy, and infected with all of Hollywood's bull crap in a blender of Sodom and Gomorrah like sludge. Let's also not forget as attested by fans of the show, such as I, that it does have a beautiful heart at the core of four best friends that decide to either make it together or don't make it at all. That is life. Finding the jewel within the world's cesspool and never letting go of it no matter what the cost. As our loveable Vinnie always says, "We can always go back home to Queens."
Now if you haven't seen the HBO series based upon the exploits of series producer Mark Wahlberg's career and his lifelong friends you'll have quite a bit of confusion. I hate doing spoilers in my reviews, but these are television spoilers and not movie spoilers so loophole ahoy!
Entourage focuses on the fictional character, based upon Whalberg, Vincent Chase played by Adrian Grenier. Within his entourage is his half-brother Johnny Drama, Kevin Dillon aka older brother to Matt and eighties star of the Blob remake, whom is a failed movie star. We have E short for Eric Murphy, played by Kevin Connolly, who is Vince's manager after his successful time managing a pizzeria in queens. Lastly we have Turtle, played by now super fit Jerry Ferrera, who was the bum pot smoking driver turned successful investor in a tequila company. Rounding out the cast is the most memorable to everyone, Ari Gold played by the relentless Jeremy Piven, Agent who discovered Vince turned studio head of Warner Brothers. Miss them? Well hug it out Aquabitch!
At the end of Season 8, Vince is getting married to a reporter he just met, Johnny has a successful cartoon series about to run, Turtle is a billionaire through his tequila company and E is about to have a baby with the love of his life. Being the most topsy-turvy dramatic show that it is, this all goes out the window at the beginning of the movie. We discover Vince is divorced after nine days of marriage and Ari offers the starring role of his first huge studio production to Vince. Vince with the realization he needs something more in life, attributing his failed marriage to his unhappiness, accepts only if he can direct! Cue Entourage theme song and opening credits, "I wanna be your superhero!"
What follows Is the longest episode of Entourage ever. It's not necessarily a bad thing or a good thing. We get our slew of celebrity cameos thrown at us left and right. All our fan favorite characters return to check out Vince's huge $15 million dollar over budget movie and Ari is ready to kill everyone. There's also copious amounts of sex. It's definitely the fun of Entourage, but some of the story goes all over the place and other parts feel like we've seen this before but with different actors. E's story arc is very strange as it is a journey for him to basically go from being the nice guy with bad luck to a giant man whore. Turtle has his moments especially considering he is trying to date a fighter who can kick his ass in less than 60 seconds. Vince is his usually charming confused self trying to find love and happiness but his love life in this movie is pretty terribly done with little to no pay off. There was not enough Johnny Drama in this movie for my taste as he is my favorite underdog character. He also has a couple of story arcs that start and suddenly stop which makes me wonder if the movie had to be edited to focus more on Vince finishing his movie. Although Drama ends the movie in the most satisfying way ever for any fan of this show reminiscent of Stallone in Rocky and once you see this movie you'll know what I mean.
Ari Gold was the most foul mouthed, sexist, racist, homophobic pig on the planet in the show. Everything he said was pure bile and we loved him for it. To truly understand Ari is to know he means everything he says and yet he doesn't. His anger gets the best of him and in that state he concocts a slew of poetic profanities that could make Hitler cry. He doesn't truly mean these things, he just hates the world and anyone that would hurt his family and friends. His guard is constantly up, to become a friend of Ari Gold you must truly be the Gold standard. From the safety of our couches we laughed as Ari berated everyone who crossed his path and some of us wish we could have the balls to say these things to the people who stand in our way! That's why we love Ari, he represents the little voice that says f#ck you to the people you hate and is a loving person at heart. In the movie he sadly has a muzzle. This works perfectly with the story as he is trying to calm himself to save his marriage and be a better person, but as someone who watched him rage through 8 seasons culminating Hollywood's hatred, it was somewhat disappointing. Don't worry Ari still has his moments of "Jew Rage" but it's definitely toned down for story sake. There is however an after the credits scene the wraps up a subplot where we get glimpses of Ari's, "I don't give a sh*t attitude that are tremendous, "My house my god!" Ari you beautiful rage filled Jew!
There are definite money shots hearkening back to scenes in the show that are blown up for the big screen which is nice but I would rather have seen newer material. Hayley Joel Osmet does a pretty solid job as the brat of the financier of Vince's movie and plays an idiot spoiled Texas kid a little bit stereotypical, but it works. His story arc sets him up as the movies antagonist as his problems with Vince hinder the production of Vince's directorial debut, a modern day club scene retelling of Jekyll and Hyde. I never thought those words would ever be strung together as a description. Osmet goes back to my small grievance of rehashing old stories from the show, the entire movie is put in jeopardy over them both liking a girl that you barely see in the movie. It works but it's just like an older episode. We see a bit of the movie of course called Hyde. It's beautifully shot action packed, makes me wish we saw more scenes from that!
You get your usual Entourage comedy throughout but it feels really far apart because of the run time going from episodic to motion picture. I definitely laughed hysterically through quite a few scenes, but then again I am a fan and have seen the show religiously. Is the heart still there within the smut? Yes. It takes its time and goes through a sewer pipe of human feces to get there but at the end if the flick there is a scene that is quite beautiful. The man who truly makes this scene beautiful is Johnny Drama. Me is having the worst moment of his life, but the love for his "boys" and the family they form through the birth of E's kid is conveyed amazingly with one look given to us by Kevin Dillon's amazing acting. The heart of this film and jewel in the sleaze was Johnny Drama. I wanted more comedy from him but as a fan I teared up more from his moments of " Victory!" Than anything else in a long time. It's a fun one time watch for newcomers and fans of the show if you go in expecting one giant episode will think it's oscar worthy! Three Golden Globes to my main man Kevin Dillon for the most satisfying ending line to a series ever!