Wednesday, June 3, 2015
CNS/USCCB (J. Mulderig) review
ChicagoTribune (M. Phillips) review
RogerEbert.com (B. Tallerico) review
AVClub (A.A. Dowd) review
Entourage  (story, screenplay and directed by Doug Ellin based on the television series by the same name [2004-2011] [IMDb]) continues basically where said series left-off. As such the film continues to simultaneously satirize and glamorize Hollywood excess.
The gang of four -- the ever wildly lucky / successful actor Vinny Chase (played by Adrian Granier) along with his decidedly less lucky / less talented older 1/2 brother Johnny "Drama" (played by Kevin Dillon) and buddies Eric (played by Kevin Connolly) and "Turtle" (played by Jerry Ferrara) all of once humble Brooklyn neighborhood roots -- is back.
And, well, Hollywood's been "very, very good to ALL of them" ;-). Vinny's become a wildly successful movie star deciding here to take a stab at directing as well. Eric's become his wildly successful manager (bagging / bedding two models, one blonde, one brunette, in a twelve hour period, fulfilling the Beach Boys' California promise of "Two girls for every boy..."). And even "Turtle" (formerly Vinny's driver) has become an independently successful "Tequila tycoon." Okay maybe it hasn't been so good to Johnny Drama, but at least his younger 1/2 brother Vinny still looks after him and continues to believe in him. And in as much as there's any plot development in this film at all, given that everybody else's arrows seem to be going (wildly) up ... guess what happens to "Drama's" fortunes in this film?
Yes, the film may irritate some as basically a "pile it on" teenage-BOY's / teenage-BOY(at-heart)'s wish-fulfillment fantasy answering the "burning" question: "What would it be like IF EVERY CONCEIVABLE DREAM / FANTASY that one _ever had_ actually came _wildly_ true?" (Hint: It'd probably be PRETTY DAMN AWESOME ... ;-). Yet, the film continues the series' charm of being SO GOOD NATURED (even as it certainly would NOT win any feminist film awards ... I don't think there's a single woman character in the film that was more than (again) some teenage boy's fantasy ...) THAT IT'S REALLY HARD TO HATE THIS FILM.
"Wouldn't it be nice?" Well, YEAH, I return to the reality that for most men/boys (and I'm one of them ...) it'd be "pretty damn awesome" ;-). I mean, this is a film that could have had even Osama Bin Laden humming "California Dreamin..." (with again about as much consideration given to the women in the story as an radical Islamicist would give ... And, well, bikinis, "birthday suits" and burkas do actually all start with the letter "b" ...).
I would just end that in Dante's Inferno, the ring for those who stripped the world bare in this life (the rapists, the sodomites and the usurers) was that of a scorching desert waste with a steady firey rain in the next. For if one so thoroughly strip-mined this world for _all_ its potential for happiness, what would be left to experience in the next?
Still, it's hard to not like these guys or suspect that a fair number of the younger male Hollywood movie stars (Mark Wahlberg, Leonardo di Caprio, James Franco ...) are living pretty much exactly this dream... and one wonders, what if Osama Bin Laden had simply been "a better-looking / less awkward-looking guy" ...
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