Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini


Adrien Grenier, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara and Jeremy Piven

Rated: R for pervasive language, strong sexual content, nudity and some drug use.
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: June 3, 2015   Released by: Warner Brothers

A glossy, if vacuous attempt to please its fans tries to rev up where its seven-year HBO series ended (about four years ago) is hardly as momentous and sharply drawn as its concisely prurient, often sexist and hedonistic small-screen episodes demonstrated. Novices may find it to be tedious and a turn-off wishing all the partying would come to an end (a lot sooner than it does).

Entourage, like Sex and the City (but mercifully much leaner in running time), tries to cram much glitzy incident into feature-length without being timely in how showbiz is handled since creator Doug Ellin got it all rolling with surprising vibrancy over a decade ago. So, it doesn't really allow for the passage of time with much creativity around big movie (Aquaman) star Vincent Chase (Adrien Grenier), as well as big half-brother and always looking for a break actor Johnny 'Drama' Chase (a mopey Kevin Dillon). Not to mention driver-now-tequila entrepreneur Turtle (Jerry Ferrara), pizza boy now Vince's manager and close friend Eric 'E' Murphy and edgy, smooth talking Jewish agent Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven, in many a John Cusack film before this series).

An eye-catching off the Spanish coast setting with a luxury yacht and scantily-clad ladies is where Johnny, Eric and Turtle meet up with Vince who gets his five-day marriage annulled. Ari's moved back into Hollywood from an Italian retirement to be a studio production head wanting Vinny to star in what looks to be a futuristic "Hyde" (with Johnny having four 'key' scenes). The caveat is that the star wants to direct and leads to many cameos, an audition and a home video gone viral (remember Jim and Nadia in American Pie?).

Vince hasn't found his desired product after using up nine figures and counting after half a year, so he and Ari have to deal with Texas oilman Larsen McCreadle (Billy Bob Thornton, excellent in the small-screen version of Fargo but just an extended cameo here) and his entitled, blowhard, hirsute son Travis (a dopey Haley Joel Osment, who actually appeared with Grenier fifteen years ago in A.I. if you can believe it). An obnoxious Travis (perhaps the most original character here) wants to be hands-on to see the incomplete "Hyde", but really has designs on Hollywood decadence and actress Emily Ratajkowski (Armie Hammer's ex).

The behind-the-scenes stylings ultimately revolve around Vince's wish-fulfillment induces turmoil and the way Ellin wants his stars to go out on their terms as the Golden Globes and a wedding (a chronological but not sexual inverse of Sex and the City 2 with Ari's former assistant Lloyd done with ebullient estrogen peevishness by Rex Lee).

Oh, Eric is having a baby with Sloan (a very family-minded Emmanuelle Chriqui while getting under the covers with two other women who corner him at an outdoor café. UFC/MMA wunderkind Ronda Rousey is her somewhat charming self putting Turtle in her clutches to try and understand his true intentions towards her. And, Ari reveals his darker impulses when not being able to turn off his iPhone during some needed therapy with supportive, but not too giving wife (Perrey Reeves).

Among the scores of cameos, noted British interviewer Piers Morgan frames the vignettes around the ascension to fame and fortune and hard decisions made about costly endeavors. Ari gets to speak to the likes of an angry Liam Neeson, David Spade, Jessica Alba, Warren Buffett, Kelsey Grammer, while Richard Schiff and Judy Greer (as a casting agent) have an interesting interlude with Drama. When Grammer isn't immersed in self-parody, there's Bob Saget and Gary Busey, and, of course, you get Mark Wahlberg (with his own entourage dissing the foursome). Recent Super Bowl participants like Russell Wilson, Tom Brady, and Rob Gronkowski appear, as well as menacing Green Bay Packer linebacker Clay Matthews. Should we forget musical topper Pharrell Williams and famed television Matt Laurer, among many, many others? Besides regulars who include sardonic Debi Mazar and lascivious Martin Landau.

With Ellin's affection to a razzmatazz risible past into the private and powerful goings on when it comes to talent agencies in the movie industry, Entourage becomes a deflating proposition with all of the fuss in chasing after Vince. Hiding away in a man-cave streaming or using Netflix or whatever digital format for the erstwhile complete package is the better way to hangout with Vince, Eric, Drama, Turtle and Ari and a bevy of beauties.

  Frank Chris Jim Dave Nina Dayra Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
Entourage  B      C-   C+                  C+ 

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