Very Good (3 stars)
Rated R for frontal nudity, drug use, graphic sexuality and pervasive profanity
Running time: 105 minutes
Distributor: Warner Brothers Pictures
“Entourage” went off the air in 2011, after enjoying a phenomenal, eight-year run on the HBO Network, thanks to its refreshingly-authentic take on cutthroat world of Hollywood. That semi-autobiographical TV-series revolving around the irreverent alpha-male antics of a fictional movie star and his posse was inspired by the life of its executive producer, Mark Wahlberg. Directed by the program’s creator, Doug Ellin, this eagerly-anticipated, big screen version more than lives up to its legions of loyal fans’ high expectations, between the bawdy, locker room banter and the trademark misogyny we’ve come to expect from the unapologetic bad boys at the center of the story.
Fortunately, the original cast has been reunited, starting with Adrian Grenier as matinee idol Vince Chase. There’s also Kevin Dillon as his big brother, Johnny; Jerry Ferrara as his chauffeur, Turtle; and Kevin Connolly as his manager, Eric, aka E. Besides that tight-knit quartet of BFFs from Queens, Vince’s agent Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) and Ari’s former, long-suffering assistant, Lloyd (Rex Lee), are among a number of other popular characters reprising their roles.
The picture basically unfolds like an extended rap music video. Think, a decadent celebration of materialism and conspicuous consumption shot against a variety of lavish backdrops littered with a smorgasbord of scantily-clad, fantasy babes who ostensibly exist at the pleasure of powerful males.
At the point of departure, we find each of the protagonists embroiled in relationship drama. Newlywed Vince is eager to have his recent marriage annulled, while playboy E reluctantly attends Lamaze classes with his pregnant, ex-girlfriend, Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui). Turtle is hoping to last a half-minute in the ring with MMA Champ Rowdy Ronda Rousey, which is the only way she’d agree to a date. And Johnny comes to regret sexting with a virtual stranger when TMZ gets a hold of the embarrassing video.
Flamboyant Lloyd is planning an elaborate gay wedding featuring glass dildos as centerpieces, and he wants his ex-boss to give him away to fiance Greg Louganis. Trouble is, Ari is now a studio exec, and he’s obsessed with his first picture, a $100 million production being directed by Vince that’s already way over budget.
Never taking itself seriously, all of the above is played purely for laughs, including a profusion of fleeting cameo appearances by celebs as themselves: Pharrell, Warren Buffett, Mike Tyson, Common and Gary Busey, to name a few. For example, Liam Neeson is greeted by the feckless foursome at a traffic light with, “Hey, Schindler, leave no Jews behind,” you’re left wondering, what the heck just happened?
Vintage Vince and company having tons of testosterone-fueled fun whether being titillated by bimbos or just roaming aimlessly around L.A. in a classic convertible.