**1/2 (out of five)
There is nothing inherently awful about the big screen version of HBO’s Entourage television series, other than it has absolutely no reason, or justification, to exist.
Big screen versions of television shows are nothing new. I’m not talking about decades-later reboots but simply transitions to the big screen, including original actors and, often, sets, props and situations. As they come to mind, I’m thinking back to Batman – the camp ‘60s version – as well as The Muppet Movie, Veronica Mars, South Park, The X Files, Jackass, The Simpsons and Sex and the City – I’m sure there are plenty more. To justify being on the big screen – and, let’s face it, to charge you good money for something you once got for free (well, not really in HBO’s case, but you know what I mean) – it was generally accepted these versions either had to (a) give you a lot more production value bang for your buck and / or (b) “finish off” the story the series started.
Entourage fulfils neither of these requirements. It feels no “larger” than the TV show, nor does it have any sense of closure. Even more unforgivably, the storylines within it are no more ambitious than anything attempted on the show, and some of them are simply lazy, boring and fatuous. Turtle’s storyline, for example, simply has him having a crush on a MMA fighter and giving her confused signals (her name is Ronda Rousey, and she plays herself, terribly). E’s is little better. Both are emblematic of some really pitiful examples of the gratuitous male gaze. Basically, the guys in this show get to quip (often without wit) whereas every woman under 35 seems to have to show her breasts, her butt or both to earn entry. If they get a piece of dialogue that’s not about having sex with one of the boys, they’re one of the very few.
The plot – Vinny directs a movie – is really, really threadbare, and exemplifies the big problem I always had with the TV show: these are not just first world problems, they’re the one percent of the one percent problems. We’d all give our right feet to have their “problems”.
If you loved the show, you’ll be happy, I guess, to spend time with the dudes again. It’s got nothing for anyone else, except a great performance from Haley Joel Osment (The Sixth Sense). Stealing every scene he’s in, you wish he had more.