by Evan Brown
Rated MA15+. Starring Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon. Directed by Doug Ellin.
The Entourage boys are back in town and this time it’s on the big screen. It has been almost four years since the final episode of season eight but HBO’s male equivalent of Sex and the City – The Movie is finally here. For those of you who are not familiar with the series, Entourage was very loosely based on the life of Mark Wahlberg and his rise to fame as an actor, which subsequently involved bringing his best friends (aka his entourage) along for the ride. To this reviewer’s disappointment the series writer Doug Ellin conveniently left out the Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch saga (he obviously didn’t feel the vibrations).
The film revolves around Vince the movie star (Grenier), E the manager (Connolly), Turtle the driver (Jerry Ferrara), Drama the cook (Dillon) and Ari the high flying studio head (Jeremy Piven) – and the film starts where the series left off. If you haven’t watched the series don’t be discouraged as there is a conveniently well-placed five minute True Hollywood style expose on Vinnie and the gang at the beginning of the movie that will bring you up to speed.
Vince has just had an annulment after nine days of marriage and is looking for the next big thing – “something with purpose”. What perfect timing as Vinnie’s long time agent Ari Gold has just acquired the new position of Studio Head and specifically wants Vince to star in his new feature film. Vince however only agrees to star in the film if he can be the director as well.
Fast forward eight months and we find Vinnie and the boys grossly over budget and Ari in the stressful situation of asking his investors Larsen McCredle (Billy Bob Thornton) and his son Travis (Haley Joel Osment) for more money. Convinced that this movie will be a box office smash, Ari agrees to babysit the kid from Sixth Sense who now has a beard – sorry, I mean the investor Travis McCredle, in the hope to secure more money for Vince’s purpose project.
The brotherly banter and deep sense of family amongst the gang is present in spades and in true Entourage form each member of the gang has their own separate story; Drama (my personal favourite) is still struggling with his obsession of fame and his never ending quest to get it, E (much to my wife’s frustration) is still working on his on-and-off again partner Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui) who is now carrying their child and Turtle who is now an extremely rich man from his investment in a tequila company has fallen in love with UFC powerhouse Rhonda Russey (who plays herself). Doug Ellin (who directed and wrote this) has managed to intertwine these sub-stories together to create a cohesive and entertaining movie.
The list of star cameos in this movie is too long to list and almost all of the semi-reoccurring characters of the series make an appearance (including Bog Saget and Mark Wahlberg with his original entourage). The show stealer for Entourage is Ari Gold (Piven) with his quick-witted retorts, bouts of anger and amazing one-liners. Piven is able to make a very dislikable character loveable.
Entourage has always been about the lifestyle of the rich and famous however this time it isn’t enough for Vince. This time he wants more than what money and fame can offer and is now on a quest for purpose.
As Christians we never have to worry about a sense of purpose in our own lives as we have already been given one. Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 1:9:
‘He has saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began.’
Scripture tells us that we we have a holy calling, we have purpose in Jesus and because of this we now have purpose in our own lives. We are to live a life worthy of the manner of Christ (Philippians 1:27) giving God the glory He deserves (Colossians 3:17) and to tell as many people as we can about Him (Matthew 28:19). We are not told at the end of the film whether or not Vince found fulfillment in his search for purpose however if we believe in God we will find ultimate fulfillment in His love for us.
Please be aware: as you would expect from any HBO publication this film features extreme language, high impact sex scenes, drug use and nudity and I would not recommend this film for anyone who would find this offensive.
This film basically felt like an extra long episode of Entourage and fans of the series will come away feeling very satisfied. Those who are not familiar with the series and watch it anyway may come away thinking that the overall plot was quite weak and surprised that Ellin managed to keep you entertained regardless. I’m giving Entourage three out of five stars (but four if you’re an Entourage fan like me).
Entourage is screening now in cinemas everywhere.