When they cued the title music for Entourage as my dear wife Karen and I sat in the sparse weekday matinée Cape Cod theater crowd, the familiar power chords of Jane Addiction’s Superhero gave me a jolt.
I felt like I was back in the living room of the Little Bitty in the Syracuse city neighborhood of Eastwood in the eight seasons before the HBO run of the series ended in 2011.
Yeah. I liked this ensemble show with Vinnie and Johnny Drama and Turtle and Eric from Queens making it in LA thanks to Ari Gold and all the weird trouble they always got into and out of …
And then the movie started and Piers Morgan is interviewing Vinnie and Ari about their new project and, wait, going back, back, back into the past, the origin of how the gang all came out from the city together …
So this was the cheap and easy vehicle that writer and director and mastermind used to catch up folks who may have never seen his TV show and still made their way into the movie theater to see this one he co-wrote with Rob Weiss.
Ugh. I hated it. Smarmy Piers, the goofy old clips and the premise that anybody would be coming to see this movie needing a primer on the back story.
No. Some things had changed in their lives since last we saw them on TV. Turtle, played by Jerry Ferrara, had gone svelte. Ari, played by Jeremy Piven, had moved abroad and briefly retired but then agreed to come back as a major studio head. Vinnie, played by Adrian Grenier, had talked ARi into rolling the dice on his very first movie as not only his star vehicle but also his directorial debut. Eric, played by Kevin Connolly, producer of this Vinnie project, is nine months pregnant with Sloan but their relationship is off and he’s sleeping around. Johnny Drama is banking on his small supporting role in his brother’s film to reignite this career so he’s as insecure as ever.
The plot is interesting enough, and old friends Lloyd, Dana, Mrs. Gold and Shauna are around to keep the familiarity strong. New faces Billy Bob Thornton and Haley Joel Osment as a father-son money team and kickboxer Ronda Rousey as herself for Turtle’s romantic interest add a certain amount of zing.
Yet any changes are more like little ripples in the pond rather than major waves out there in LA. The guys are bedding down good-looking women, Ari is straddling the line of doing and saying politically incorrect things and … R-rated behavior that made it an HBO favorite for eight seasons.
In fact, Ellin could have chopped this baby’s 104 minutes up, added some things here and there and had himself season nine on TV.
Were you a fan of Entourageon HBO? Would you go to the theater to see more of the same antics from the same gang? If you’re a fan, who’s your favorite Entourage character and why?