The Boys are Back!
By Lauren Cohen
TV-to-movie adaptations are a tricky business. On one hand, you have a hungry audience that is ready to thankfully devour whatever you serve them. On the other, you face the risk of making a high-budget, overlong TV episode. While the new “Entourage” movie certainly didn’t escape the pitfalls of the latter, it’s a rare exception where its faults seem to fall by the wayside. Because who can nitpick about too many subplots and barely any character growth when you’re having this much fun? This is the reunion that fans have been dreaming about for four long years since the beloved HBO series ended, and if my theater was any indication, fans couldn’t be happier to be reunited with their boys.
“Entourage” starts off nine days after the show’s finale. Ari (Jeremy Piven) has just been offered the studio head position; Vince (Adrian Grenier) is newly single; Eric (Kevin Connolly) and Sloane (Emmanuelle Chriqui) are having a baby; Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon) is looking for his next big role; and Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) is living the high life after making it big from his tequila company.
The movie opens with the boys hanging out together on a yacht in Ibiza, surrounded by a bevy of beautiful, half-naked women. Ari calls Vince to tell him that he wants him to star in his next project. But Vince has something else in mind. “Whatever I do next, I also want to direct.” Uh oh. Will Vincent Chase’s directorial debut be more like James Cameron’s “Aquaman” from season 2, or like the epic failure that was the Pablo Escobar film, “Medellin”? Ari falls into a stumped silence at Vince’s words – a silence that is soon filled by the familiar sound of Entourage’s opening credit theme song.
The best trick “Entourage” has up its sleeve is that it makes plenty of use of everyone’s favorite character: the politically incorrect, foul-mouthed agent Ari Gold. Piven is as energetic and manic as ever, and seems to absolutely relish the opportunity to regularly use his iconic screaming voice. He swiftly picks up the slack anytime the film starts to drag, proving there’s nothing that an Ari Gold one-liner can’t fix.
Early on in the movie, Piers Morgan is doing a special on Vince and the boys; it’s a segment that warmly reminds us of everything we loved about the show. Pizza boy jokes are made at Eric’s expense, as are jokes about Johnny’s lackluster career. This is a movie filled with inside jokes, making it somewhat inaccessible for the uninitiated. And of course, the movie is jam-packed with celebrity cameos, including a particularly fun scene with producer Mark Wahlberg. “Entourage” doesn’t bring anything new to the table – perhaps there’s no real reason for it to even exist. But fans can get ready to lean back and kick their legs up: this is one movie-going experience where they’ll feel right at home.