Doug Ellin tries his hand at what many directors fail to do, and that is to bring a television series to the big screen.
In society today it seems that creating an original Comedy film is becoming a seemingly impossible task. Comedy films are hard to produce as majority of films result in being a disaster at the Box office. Directors decide to play it safe rather than taking a risk, resulting in more or less the same films with the same storyline being made. But who would want to take a risk when their film is up against the likes of Jurassic World (Colin Trevorrow), Pitch Perfect 2 (Elizabeth Banks), and Spy (Paul Feig)?
Entourage (Doug Ellin) was originally a HBO series which ended in 2011 with a not-so-often familiar run of eight seasons. Doug Ellin only directed six episodes; one in 2009, three in 2010 and two in 2011, however even though he only directed the six episodes, Ellin was involved in the series from its beginning to its very end, as he was the show’s creator. When it was announced that he would be back for the film not only as the director, but also as one of the writers along with Rob Weiss and the producer, it was presumed that the film would be in great hands.
The film tells the story of Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier), Johnny ‘Drama’ Chase (Kevin Dillon), Eric ‘E’ Murphy (Kevin Connolly), Sal ‘Turtle’ Assante (Jerry Ferrara), and Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven), who are the principal cast from the show. The film is seen as being a continuation from where the show left off in 2011. Although the film concentrates on all five members of the group, the main focus is placed upon Vincent Chase and Ari Gold. Ari, who used to be Vincent’s agent has now turned studio-head, with reluctance from his wife, and wants Vincent to star in his new blockbuster film Hyde. However, during the phone call Vincent states that whatever he does next he wants to direct. Hyde, and the problems that come with it, are the main plot of the film, with the other three members of the group and their problems acting as a sub-plot. It’s hard to talk about Entourage without revealing spoilers, however the film is basically straightforward with minor twists and turns throughout.
For someone who has not watched the television series, immediately I sensed that the film was misogynistic, homophobic and voyeuristic – not even two minutes into the film and a sex scene appears. As a female I was highly uncomfortable watching this scene and even more uncomfortable watching the way the men, especially Drama and E, treat the women. On the other hand, the film is full of gags and jokes to get the audience laughing, some work well and others not so much – one of the best ones was a joke made by Ari about Liam Neeson, which he said directly to the man himself.
In reference to the cameo of Liam Neeson, the film is full of surprise appearances by stars, including Jessica Alba, Pharrell, Mark Wahlberg, and Tom Brady. However, the major cameo Ellin focused on was bringing Ronda Rousey into the picture by becoming a love interest for Turtle, which could be seen as a publicity tactic to entice fans of Rousey’s to go see the film. Despite the 30+ stars that made cameos majority of them were used extremely briefly, were not at all relevant to the plot, and were often placed in pointless situations for the characters benefit. This being said, Hollywood is all about star power. Finally, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) rated the film at only a ‘15’ and it was passed without any cuts being made, but due to the swearing, sex scenes, sexual references, violence and drug use, the film deserves an ‘18’ rating. It’s understandable that the television series had viewers under the age of 18, and therefore Ellin would want to keep the target demographic, however, to make the film pass as a ‘15’ language would need to be cut out, sexual references toned down and minimal violence and drug use.
For fans of the television series who have long awaited the movie’s release I would recommend you go see it, as you’re used to the characters and their obvious controversial humour. However, if you are not a fan of the show or if you are easily offended by swearing and sex, I would not recommend this film.
Director: Doug Ellin
Cast: Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon, Kevin Connolly, Jerry Ferrara and Jeremy Piven.
Runtime : 104 mins