Jason Wiese | Culture Editor
Published June 3, 2015; 10 a.m.
As someone who enjoys the hit HBO series “Entourage,” I may have a bias when reviewing its big screen update, written and directed by series creator Doug Ellin, produced by Mark Wahlberg (the show’s real-life inspiration) and starring the original cast. My professional opinion recognizes the film’s flaws, but the fan in me could not resist this energetic, character-driven Hollywood party of a film that is just as funny, if not funnier, than its predecessor.
The film picks up where the series’ eighth and final season left off. Each of the characters has a dream they are fighting to catch that reflects their personalities perfectly. Movie star Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) is struggling to finish his directorial debut. Manager to the stars Eric Murphy (Kevin Connolly) tries to create a working relationship with Sloane (Emanuelle Chiriqui), his ex-fiancé and mother of his child. Johnny “Drama” Chase (Kevin Dillon) is still searching for attention beyond the spotlight of Vince, his half-brother. Successful CEO Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) is vying for the attention of UFC champion Ronda Rousey. Studio head Ari Gold (Emmy-winner Jeremy Piven), who is arguably the star of the show this time, is willing to sacrifice everything to see Vince’s film on the big screen.
The film is written as a basic two-hour “Entourage” episode that feels as if you have watched a full season by the end. It contains all the essential elements that made the series a fun, yet poignant, inside look at the entertainment industry, including sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll and, of course, a boat load of celebrity cameos, which spark some of the best laughs of the film. Speaking of rock ‘n’ roll, the soundtrack is certainly worth mentioning, all including songs that are recognizable and create a perfect atmosphere for each scene in which they are heard.
For people who are not familiar with the series, the best case scenario is that they enjoy the film, inspiring them to check out the show. I do hope that late bloomers enjoy this film because if it were not for my familiarity of the series, I could have written this film off as another rushed, bloated, generic Hollywood send-up. But the cast is great, appearing to be having more fun reprising their roles than the audience is watching them, and the laughs outweigh the groans by a longshot. “Entourage” may be the most fun you will have all summer.