‘Entourage’ doesn’t hang together on the big screen
‘Entourage,” Doug Ellin’s movie adaptation of his HBO series about a movie star and his wolf pack of homies (inspired by producer Mark Wahlberg’s Hollywood salad days), has all the class of “Grown Ups 2.” It resurrects a macho churlishness and puerile wish fulfillment that is less charming now than it was back when the show went off the air in 2011. At a time when such documentaries as “The Hunting Ground” expose the toll these attitudes take, such humor seems, at best, dated.
Perhaps, though, it arrives on the big screen too soon rather than too late. The best movie adaptations of TV series usually appear decades after the show has faded into nostalgic memory, allowing them to be thoroughly overhauled, like the “Mission Impossible” franchise, or recharged with hipster irony, like “21 Jump Street.”
Instead, “Entourage” takes up where the last episode left off, after superstar Vince (Adrian Grenier) has married his dream girl. Hilariously, it turns out the marriage lasted only five days. Now divorced, Vince celebrates on a yacht the size of an aircraft carrier, all the more room for the topless babes and celebrity cameos. It’s just the first of such bashes, and among those spotted are Kelsey Grammer, Armie Hammer, Liam Neeson, David Spade, Pharrell Williams, and, adding to the ignominy of Deflategate, Tom Brady.
But it can’t be all sybaritic partying. Vince has decided to direct a movie. This doesn’t help agent Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven, triumphing over the material) with his anger issues. He’s now the head of a studio and committed to helping his friend fulfill his ambition (the snippet of Vince’s movie actually looks a lot better than this one).
As for the others, their subplots tag along. Vince’s manager Eric, or “E” (described by the actor who portrays him, Kevin Connolly, as “the moral compass of the group”), has slept with two women in 24 hours, one of whom he has made pregnant, and wonders if he should start keeping his pants on. Turtle (Jerry Ferrara), the formerly portly driver now turned trimmed-down tequila mogul, has ineptly fallen for burly real-life UFC fighter Ronda Rousey. And Johnny “Drama” (Kevin Dillon), the hapless hack actor, keeps making dumb wisecracks while talking out of the side of his mouth.
Though it includes such yuks as a shaming sex tape gone viral, the film is stuck in the inconsequential rut of the series. The characters are static, and the comedy is situational rather than dramatic. No wonder Wahlberg, who drops by with his real-life retinue, makes a quick exit.