'Entourage' - Not befitting the big screen (IANS Review)
A flighty buddy-bromance based on the characters created by writer-director Doug Ellin, 'Entourage' is basically an extended version of an HBO television show that ran from 2004 to 2011.
What started off as the lovable underdog story on television in 2004, has now blown into a big screen tale of sycophancy that is repulsive to a certain extent. It gives you an insight of friendship and how Hollywood operates.
The story revolves around the sought-after-actor Vincent 'Vince' Chase who is always accompanied by his group of close friends, his entourage. They include his actor brother Johnny 'Drama', his manager Eric aka E and a lackey-cum-businessman Turtle. The film reveals how Vincent and his entourage are obnoxious examples of everything that's wrong in Hollywood.
The plot, strung together between cameos from a plethora of celebrities who act as themselves, begins with Vince revealing to his friends that his marriage of nine days has been annulled amicably. When his phone rings, it is Ari his former agent and now studio head who is on the other end. He offers Vincent a dream role in a film called 'Hyde'. But apart from acting, Vince insists on directing the project and involving his gang of boys.
Ari has no choice. He gives in to Vince's demands and shepherds his directorial debut. The project is peculiarly handled by Vince who refuses to show the rushes to Ari, till the film is completed. Soon, the project goes over budget. Vince behaves mysteriously while requesting for more money saying, 'I need the money to make the movie perfect.'
This leads the egoistic Ari to face his management and investors. How he saves himself and his project from doom, forms the crux of the tale.
While the plot reveals how the foursome are entrenched in the most glamorous and superficial elements of the industry, after a point the novelty factor of their lifestyle begins to wear off. And, like their lives, there is no substance in the happenings in this film that documents their exploits. Also, lack of a solid conflict and drive between the friends, makes this a lacklustre film.
On the performance front, Adrian Grenier, as the candyfloss actor Vince Chase, is bland and impassive. His character is superficial with no depth to its graph. He flits from scene to scene with the same stoic expression.
On the other hand, the characters of the 'Entourage' are better developed. Kevin Connolly as Eric is cute and adorable with an innocent charm. He astutely juggles various women while tending to his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sloan.
Jerry Ferrara as Turtle, who flirts awkwardly with MMA superstar Ronda Rousey, is natural and convincing. So is Kevin Dillon as Johnny 'Drama' who hopes that his four scenes in 'Hyde' will finally make him a superstar. But it is Jeremy Piven as Ari, who is exceptional. With his buoyant energy he lights up the screen, especially when he attempts to camouflage his anger. Also, his distressing mantra is exceedingly hilarious.
And the women in the film are mostly shrews and nags, or mere ornamentation who have nothing to contribute, except by way of skin show.
Technically, the production quality is scaled up for the big screen, yet the film lacks the wow factor for the cinemas.