Entertainment Movies Entourage is an insult to our collective intelligence

Entourage is an insult to our collective intelligence

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Entourage_MovieLet’s call it the Sex and the City syndrome.

A television show gets a big-screen adaptation and the writers rest on their laurels, ramp up existing plot lines and roll out old guest stars in their thousands to get big box office figures and easy laughs.

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At least when Sex and the City did it, it was fun. The Entourage movie is anything but.

It’s a sad, sad day when the best part of a highly-anticipated Hollywood movie is the opening credit sequence.

After that ends, the movie halfheartedly delivers on all its promises, bringing back the original entourage, plus Ari Gold, and follows them as they navigate the perils of protagonist Vince’s blockbuster directorial debut.

Is it misogynistic? Yes. Is it clichéd? Yes. Would you forgive it all if it was funny? Yes.

Unfortunately for Vince and the gang, their antics are just plain boring – you’re not really rooting for anyone, nor do you really find the endless loop of parties, models and eccentric Hollywood types entertaining any more.

Throughout its eight-season run, the show was known for its shameless representation of repellant male stereotypes, but it was tongue-in-cheek, self-referential and clever about it.

Like a men’s deodorant ad sponsored by the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, the movie version’s portrayal of women is downright uncomfortable, with not a cheek or a tongue in sight.

In an attempt to compensate female fans, directors have thrown in UFC fighter Ronda Rousey in a transparent attempt to restore the balance of girl power.

She, along with the irresistibly nasty Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven), may be the film’s only saving graces in a cast of models-turned-mediocre-actresses, washed-up Hollywood types and insufferable frat boys.

We know Johnny Bravo’s schtick is to be annoying, but this annoying? Really?!

Haley Joel Osment, Emily Ratajkowski and Adrian Grenier star in the film.
Haley Joel Osment, Emily Ratajkowski and Adrian Grenier are just some of the many famous faces who appear in the movie.

Doug Ellin, the show’s creator and the movie’s director, clearly couldn’t decide if this was just the extended finale none of us asked for, or social commentary on the fleeting nature of Hollywood and an examination of father-son relationships.

He would have been better going with the latter, but the sheer testosterone of the cast probably overwhelmed him (it happens) and he ended up with the former.

In amongst it all are Billy Bob Thornton and a super-weird Haley Joel Osment, who appear to be trying to give the movie some critical cred by delivering surprisingly nuanced performances.

As the wealthy Texan father-son duo funding Vince’s blockbuster monstrosity, they’re weirdly compelling, if not unsettling, and they stick out like a sore thumb.

They also appear to be trying to communicate a message about the importance of family, respect and honesty, but it gets drowned out by the dull roar of alcoholic excess and Ari’s helicopter.

Billy Bob Thornton (left) and Haley Joel Osment make a valiant attempt to rescue the film's message.
Billy Bob Thornton (left) and Haley Joel Osment make a valiant attempt to rescue the film’s message.

With a Hollywood pedigree, a huge fan base and a clever concept to work with, the movie just leaves you feeling a little bit let down.

Sure, there are some cheap thrills thanks to the many celebrity cameos, but can’t we do any better than this?

Aside from some unanswered relationship questions barely addressed in the movie – where is Vince’s wife? What’s actually happening with Sloan and E? – the whole thing feels rushed and incomplete, like they were trying to fit too much budget and cast into too little screen time.

It’s not just us – the cast and director seem painfully aware of their movie’s shortcomings, going on the offensive before it even hit cinemas.

“Just because they’re guys that are out on the hunt to meet up with chicks and have a good time doesn’t make them such terrible guys,” Kevin Connolly, who plays pizza man-turned-producer E, told the Los Angeles Times.

“If you talk to real people instead of little, bitter guys sitting on their Twitter accounts — real guys who have friends go, ‘This is my friends. This is how I grew up’,” the show’s creator Doug Ellin argued.

Maybe so, but if you ever encounter those “real guys” he speaks of, run for the damn hills.

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