Many TV series don’t make a successful jump to the big screen because of one thing: scale. Most TV-to-movie adaptations end up throwing beloved characters in over-the-top and unrelatable scenarios. Entourage doesn’t aim to be anything bigger, bolder or smarter than its TV show heritage, which is perfectly fine because that is why we fell in love with the show in the first place.
It feels more like an extended episode rather than a shoehorned feature film, and this works in favour of the audience, as you get to see your favourite high-living crew getting in and out of trouble like you always have (albeit with about double the amount of celebrity cameos and nudity) without the distraction of forcing it into a movie structure.
The cast is kept relatively tight-knit, leaving us with the brilliant and hilarious interactions between the characters of movie star Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) and his best-friend-turned-manager Eric (Kevin Connolly), driver-turned-tequila-magnate Turtle (Jerry Ferrara), and brother Drama (Kevin Dillon) and Ari (Jeremy Piven) – which is essentially the cornerstone of the series. The chemistry and endearing relationships between the childhood friends from Queens is still evident and they pick up right where they left off. There are some new people added into the mix, but they never pull the attention away from the underlying theme of a bunch of normal guys being thrust into the limelight and trying to survive Hollywood.
And this is how the movie successfully satirises its own existence and the current state of showbiz affairs – in between all the dick jokes and snafus, of course, as the film picks up soon after the events of the final season of the show, where the crew jetted off into the sunset and Ari Gold getting the gig of a lifetime: heading up his very own studio.
The opening of the movie sees Vincent convincing his one-time agent Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven), now heading up a studio, to let him try his hand directing a $100 million movie, “Hyde.” This has got the financiers of the project a little concerned, and they demand to see the rough cut of the film before any more money is handed over. Queue the chaos.
The main story arc is pretty intriguing, but it’s the mini-crises that the crew is having is what really holds the movie together. Eric is having serious relationship trouble while expecting his first child, Turtle is trying to win over UFC fighter Ronda Rousey, Drama is hoping that his side role in Hyde will reignite his career, and Ari’s struggle with balancing his personal and work life is as hilarious as ever.
And that’s the beauty of Entourage – it never has and still doesn’t take itself too seriously. Instead of propping up the prestige of tinsel-town on a pedestal (which is sometimes the case of the real world), it simply celebrates and indulges in the awesomeness of the lives and complications of the people making the movies, who are honest, funny and entertaining from start to finish.
Entourage opens in South African cinemas on Friday 24 Jul 2015.
Originally published on MenStuff.co.za.