“When one vagina closes, another one opens.”
In a version of Tinseltown not-too-far removed from real life, Vincent Chase is the Hollywood dreamboat who led Aquaman to box-office glory (good luck, Jason Momoa), suffered the embarrassment of the straight-to-video Medellin, and lived the hard-partying movie-star lifestyle to its fullest. Each season of the show, Entourage, focused, more-or-less, on “the next project,” and the big-screen continuation is no different. Picking up right where the finale left off, the film features Chase and his entourage (brother Johnny, manager E, and driver/entrepreneur Turtle) pursuing Vincent’s dream project, a dystopian future version of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde… Which Vincent is also directing.
While Adrian Grenier is still the cutest hottie on two legs, his Vincent Chase was always more subtle and carefree than his eccentric group of friends, and, with the Hyde film mostly in the background as a device to drive the conflict, the same holds true here. The focus is plainly on on Eric’s drama with his baby mama, Turtle’s attempts to score a date with Rhonda Rousey, and Johnny’s attempts to become famous. Still. On the Hyde side, Vince’s agent-turned studio exec, Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven, in his signature role), has to do battle with series newcomers Billy-Bob Thornton and a delightfully hammy Haley Joel Osment as rich Texas oil barons whose financial influence over the increasingly-expensive picture threatens to derail Vince’s artistic vision.
Like Arli$$ before it, Entourage always appealed to a certain niche, namely people involved in the behind-the-scenes antics in Hollywood. Publicists, agents, managers, actors, and so on. Thanks to America’s obsession with Hollywood and celebrities, however, the show was able to become a hit with mainstream audiences, and the movie isn’t trying to reinvent itself, or adapt to the larger audience outside of HBO. The boys are still “bros” to the core, and women are still almost entirely regarded as objects to be enjoyed and discarded, but once you get past all that, what we’re left with is a funny and heartwarming flick with a ton of A-list cameos, none of which I’d dare spoil here.
Speaking of heartwarming, Johnny “Drama” Chase, played by Kevin Dillon, steals the movie, just like Vincent says in the pilot (go back and watch it, I swear he says Drama “steals the movie”). After years of laughing at him as a joke and a has-been who never-was, seeing the middle-aged guy all vulnerable, desperate, and at the end of his rope is genuinely emotional. It also doesn’t hurt that Kevin Dillon knows how to use his puppy-dog eyes. Dillon, indeed, is the star of the film.
On the other hand, Eric (Kevin Connolly) gets the short end of the stick. His endless waiting for his baby to be born is sweet, but the antics sent his way do little to enhance his character and wind up mostly just slowing down the film.
There’s nothing in Entourage that will convert detractors of the show, but if that were the case, then this flick wouldn’t be for the loyal fans. Still, Entourage is accessible enough for newcomers, and is a fitting and entertaining next step in the story of Vincent Chase and his… err… group of tightly-knit friends and confidants.