One Big In Joke
Entourage. It’s not a show that I have seen before nor have I ever heard anyone gush over it like people do with other shows such as House of Cards or The Walking Dead. In fact the only thing I had heard about Entourage was a radio interview with Jeremy Piven who plays Ari Gold in the movie and was described as being famous for his on screen rants.
Great! I fucking love rants. Especially when they are well thought out yet over the top rants. I have to say though; thoroughly disappointed. Although Ari Gold is probably the best character in Entourage his rants doesn’t hold the anger of a rabid dog that watched his favourite bone being sent to the bottom of a lake. Nor does it hit the wit and disdain that makes Dr. Perry Cox (John C. McGinley) so delightful when he unleashes his tirades in Scrubs. What it amounts to is more of a growing annoyance and frustration with his situation rather than memorable screen rants.
There are only two other characters who I found particularly memorable and neither of these were the main Entourage. The film does the absolute bare minimum to set up who these people and why they matter for the uninitiated like myself. The was our main dude and film superstar Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) who, bizarrely, feels like he is in the film for all of 10 minutes. There was E (Kevin Connolly) who is Vinnie’s Producer and is a character that doesn’t seem like he fits with the rest of the clique. There was Turtle (Jerry Ferrera) who is a Manager who everyone seems to be amazed that he has accumulated mass wealth with no background as to why this is supposed to be believable. Finally there was Vinnie’s brother who I think is meant to be the funny one but really couldn’t tell.
I think I only laughed at only one line from Johnny but I didn’t hear anyone else in the cinema laugh at all… oh yeah, that’s right, no-one else went to see it. It was the day after opening night and there was no-one else in the cinema except my girlfriend who was probably lapsing in and out of consciousness. I guess everyone else had more sense than us.
Outside of these bland forgettable characters there were hundreds of cameos. Liam Neeson, check. Kelsey Grammar, Check. Jessica Alba, Check. This might please celebriphiles but to someone who hasn’t watched the series these interactions feels are a big old in-joke that you are not welcomed to partake in. What is mind blowing though is why in the name of holy bum nuggets would you choose to give the Peirs Morgan the most screen time as a cameo. Peirs Morgan: a man who reminds me of Grima Wormtongue from Lord of the Rings?
Maybe this is a localisation thing. Maybe the film makes sense to some sort of vertical slice of America but I doubt is of much interest to most of the UK where I am from. As an example most people found religion after their prayers were answered for Piers Morgan to move abroad but perhaps he is well loved in America? Outside of the desperate celebrity name drops the film spends it’s time playing out like a hip hop video parody which perhaps also goes down well in America?
The films starts with a boat party, complete with topless ladies, where we find Vincent Chase wanting to direct his next movie role. The films jumps from Vincent wanting to direct a movie to being nearly finished but needing some more money so it’s up to Ari to sort the funding. We never get to understand why this money is needed because Vincent shows an early cut of the movie to Ari who instantly loves it and buys Vincent a new expensive car because he knows it’ll be a huge hit. This extra money and the finished film is subsequently glossed over. This is just a plot device to drape more money on screen in the form of expensive cars, boats and apartments.
The only other reason for needing money is that it introduces one of the two best characters I mentioned earlier: Travis McCredle (Hayley Joel Osmont). Osmont plays a thoroughly enjoyable spoiled yet jealous son of Larson McCredle (Billy Bob Thornton) who is the films investor. Travis claims to know something about film and stubbornly requests sections are cut out of Vincent’s final film before he will hand Ari the extra money that is needed. Whilst this is probably the most fleshed out character the plot needed much more focus on his interaction with the entourage and more importantly Ari Gold to flesh out the flimsy plot and give more credence to Ari’s anger management issues.
The second of the characters that are of any note was Ronda Rousey who plays… err… Ronda Rousey. Sure, this is just another cameo but actually she plays herself as… err… herself?! What I’m trying to get at is that her role felt natural like she was/is a real person in a real world and it’s nice to see a more thoughtful side to her acting and not just kicking ass.
Realistically this film holds nothing to a newcomer. The plot is as solid as a semi-toasted marshmallow and the characters are as memorable as that time that… umm…. err. You could see this film for parties, fast cars, money, celebrities and a few pairs of boobs but here’s a pro tip: the internet. If you haven’t followed the TV series then your name’s not on the list and you’re not getting in. Probably for the best anyway.
- If you watched the TV series… maybe?!
- Ari Gold
- Haley Joel Osmont
- Void of any meaningful plot
- Doesn’t stand on its own as a film
- Not really that funny