review roundup

Review Roundup: The Entourage Movie Doesn’t Live Up to the Hype

Photo: Warner Brothers

Quick! Someone shield Ari Gold from the first reviews of the Entourage movie before he goes on one of his signature violent rants. The general consensus on the film isn’t great — at all. Vulture’s Bilge Ebiri writes, “It’s hard not to get a little restless watching endless Steadicam shots in which our characters banter around while anonymous, be-stilettoed sylphs sashay in the background. That ‘walk-and-talk’ aesthetic is par for the course in the TV world, with its ruthless schedules and dialogue-based content; on film, it feels like laziness.” Most critics have taken issue with the sexist and floundering story lines, while others have questioned the necessity of bringing the former HBO show out of retirement. Read on to see what else the critics are saying so far.

Entourage, Doug Ellin’s movie adaptation of his HBO series about a movie star and his wolf pack of homies (inspired by producer Mark Wahlberg’s Hollywood salad days), has all the class of Grown Ups 2. It resurrects a macho churlishness and puerile wish fulfillment that is less charming now than it was back when the show went off the air in 2011.” —Peter Keough, Boston Globe

“Whether created because of fan service or contractual obligation, the movie has none of the fizz of the earliest of the series’ eight seasons, and watching it summons that vague blank familiarity of discovering a show you used to watch is unexpectedly still on the air.” —Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times

“There isn’t really much more to say. By the time it reached the end of its HBO run in 2011, ‘Entourage’ had grown staler than last night’s Axe body spray. The passing of a few more years has not improved the aroma. Watching the movie is like finding an ancient issue of a second-tier lad mag — not even Maxim, but Loaded or Nuts — in a friend’s guest bathroom. You wonder how it got there. You wonder how you got there. In my case, it was the same way the people on screen got there: because someone paid me. Why anyone would run the transaction in reverse is puzzling enough to be worth pondering, and also too depressing to contemplate.” —A.O. Scott, New York Times

“Let sleeping bros lie. Eight seasons of HBO’s Entourage were more than enough. What began in 2004 as a winking expose of Hollywood’s glammy superficiality - with blue-eyed pretty boy Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) and his posse from Queens rubbing elbows with cameoing stars, and rubbing other body parts with a bevy of starlets - became superficial in its own right. Creator Doug Ellin and his team had run their course.” —Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer

“Hoo, boy. If you can walk out of Entourage without feeling like you’ve been glazed over with pre-cum, kudos to you. Still, the movie, like the HBO series that spawned it, is hardly a slog. It may be not much more than a heavily branded romp through a Hollywood fantasyland, but it’s got a pulse. It’s easy fun. No one ever died from reading People magazine.” —Lara Zarum, Village Voice

“I once watched eight episodes of ‘Entourage’ in an afternoon without checking my watch. The film, though, goes by so slowly that I spent as much time checking my wrist as the screen. Put it this way: Gary Busey is in the movie. You’ll forget it faster than he does. A film is something other than a quadruple-length TV show projected on a wall, but writer-director and series creator Doug Ellin revisits the same jokes and stretches them out. He’s hoping that there are so many bare breasts on offer, you won’t notice all the water he’s added to Turtle’s Avión tequila.” —Kyle Smith, New York Post

“Everything about this motion picture is entirely gratuitous, from its opening scene of bikini-clad hotties dancing aboard an Ibiza-parked yacht onward, but that too is the point. Viewed strictly in terms of conception and execution (i.e., what is this trying to accomplish, and how well does it do so?) Ellin’s new Entourage film is highly effective. I’d still probably rather see these characters dumped into the middle of the Ukrainian conflict, or eaten by Godzilla. But that’s old-fashioned morality talking, and anyway I have a hunch that Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) and Vinnie’s hapless brother Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon) would survive almost anything.” —Andrew O’Hehir, Salon

“To distract from the underperforming plot, Entourage is liberally padded with celebrity cameos: Pharrell Williams! Jessica Alba! Warren Buffett? These have all the storytelling relevance of clowns pouring out of a wee car at a circus.” —Linda Barnard, Toronto Star

“Though Entourage is set just months after the events of the HBO finale, its actors are (noticeably) several years older, and there’s something kind of sad, even desperate about seeing these characters behave like the same horny frat boys they basically were at the start of the series.” —A.A. Dowd, A.V. Club

“The biggest stumbling block faced by TV series-turned-films is a tendency to go too big, taking characters that were appealing in small doses and overextending their allure. For Doug Ellin’s cineplex expansion of his HBO series ‘Entourage,’ the writer-director finds a novel solution: Simply offer up an average episode, and inflate it to feature length with twice as many boobs and celebrity cameos as usual, to the point that the film might as well be called ‘Boobs and Famous People: The Movie.’” —Andrew Barker, Variety

“A more answerable question is whether the TV-wise creator of ‘Entourage,’ Doug Ellin, can direct a theatrical feature. The answer is yes — he directed this one, and it too may achieve success — but with a big asterisk. His direction, from his own patchwork screenplay, is amateurish at best and dismaying at worst, as in the soft-core staging of several tacky bacchanals that make ‘Beach Blanket Bingo’ look like high art.” —Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

What Critics Say About the Entourage Movie