Entourage– 4/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

entourageEntourage – 4/5 – In reviewing films, there is always the aspect of subjectivity.  In most things in life, you will see the majority favoring one side, and the minority siding with the latter.  This happens within the film community.  With many different appeals a story can have, there will be many different opinions, even when majority ‘loves’ or ‘hates’ what they have seen.  I usually fall in line with most critics in the movie business.  Even for the ‘majority rule’; there are quite a few times when I stand in the ‘minority’.  No matter what, I will always give a film the rating I believe it to be on its own merits.  Entourage is one of those films were I am in the minority.  A film based on a ‘group of friends’ in Hollywood, the appeal begins and ends with them.  In the end, Entourage does what it is has always done, entertain with its own unique charm, creating a great time at the theaters.

Premise:  Tackling a film in his directorial debut, Vince and his group are faced with the task to deliver something amazing.  With all odds stacked against them; Vince and crew (along with Ari) must find a way through each other to succeed once more.

If you’re a fan of the series, you know the four main characters.  You have:

Kevin Connolly as Eric

Adrian Grenier as Vince

Kevin Dillon as Johnny Drama

Jerry Ferrara as Turtle.

These four give you a ‘window’ into that high lifestyle of Hollywood.  Within them, they created individuals that are believable for the stature, and grounded in the most fascinating of situations.  Their friendship makes this lifestyle appealing on a relative scale.  Even with the ‘high flying dollars’ and ‘regular’ integrations with movie stars, their grounded conversations give their characters a realistic feeling.  There are times when some things they do or say will come off gimmicky to some, but majority of the time that ‘approachable’ sense for something that is normally ‘glamorous’ is appealing.   When you speak of Entourage, you cannot forget about the agent (now studio head), Ari Gold.  He is played by comedic actor Jeremy Piven.  A pivotal member of the series, he plays this role at a top notch level.  From the arrogance he exudes, it comes off with a fresh suaveness that is thrilling, comical and downright powerful.  He captures this role in a pristine fervor; hitting the mark with his line delivery, on screen presence and commandment of the screen.  With the rest of the cast, it is a mixed bag of ‘reoccurring’ characters from the series to an outrageous amount of cameos.  You can refer to the list on the IMDB page.  The one thing to note is that this is something that usually drags a film down.  It is because they come off generic and one-dimensional in other films.  For entourage, it is that ‘standard’ that adds a colorful presence.  This series is built upon these ‘cameos’ as well as other characters that pop in and out of their lives.  The one thing that these secondary roles do in the film (just like the series) is give a realistic aspect to the ‘big name’ stars.  They don’t come off as forced intrusions into the film; but comes across like meeting someone randomly around town.

The direction plays along the backbone of a typical episode of Entourage would.  In the series, there was always ‘general’ plot point that brings Vince and his group together, fighting through ‘over-the-top’ situation.  Paralleling there angle, you have Ari doing his ‘thing’ behind-the-scenes to keep everything from falling apart.  This directive uses the basic premise to structure this film with the series familiar banter.  In turn, you can (somewhat) see the weakness in the direction of a typical film structure.  There is no normal first, second or third act; no ‘pivotal/plot driven’ situations or ‘thematic’ appeal.  What you get is a general look at these four guys, following the ‘Entourage’ as they traverse Hollywood.  That ‘lacking’ of real focus would have brought most films of this stature down to an unwatchable level.  The irony is this is where the charm is found.  It isn’t in the lack of direction or basic structure of the story; it is the whole ‘grounded’ feeling from the script; with its familiar bantering of a group of guys as they get into crazy shenanigans.  This creates the realistic appeal to an otherwise surreal lifestyle.  The irony draws out a different kind of focus.  You focus on the bantering, clever wordplay and ‘cameo’ appearances that happen throughout the film.  The gimmick nature of the ‘Hollywood lifestyle’ is put on display with a regular spin.  You feel as if you can see yourself in this group of friends.  That connection brings out the hilarious nature of each individual situation.  Once the film gets into its last parts, you are brought through a ‘predictable’ kind of happily ending, but with the ‘Entourage’ style spinning how that ‘ending’ works for this group of guys.

The visuals are left to an aesthetic appeal.  You feel the relative sense of all the locales, creating a homely situation for an otherwise glamorous place.  The score is relatively not effective on any scale (good or bad), but the ‘series’ regular music is played throughout the film.

Entourage is a film that’s hilarious, familiar and most of all; fun time for fans of the series.  If you want to have a good time at the theaters, this is one for you.  Even if you’re not a fan of the series, you will still find something great within this film … VICTORY!!!

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