One for the fans only as the HBO show about Hollywood hits the big screen
Four years after we said goodbye to Vince Chase and the gang from HBO’s Hollywood-set show, the boys are back for their first movie outing. Just as the TV series was like Sex and the City for guys, it stands to reason that the film should follow the SATC movie mould. In other words, re-acquainting viewers with characters as familiar as old friends. For once, more of the same is no criticism: it’s exactly what fans of the show would want, even if newcomers will be left unmoved.
True, it’s hard not to see this as an extended episode – albeit with a higher budget – but each character gets a solid storyline. Fresh from divorce, A-list star Vince (Adrian Grenier) is making his directorial debut with the way-over-budget ‘Hyde’. His brother Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon), who has four 'pivotal' scenes, thinks this could be his acting breakthrough after years struggling on the sidelines. Manager Eric (Kevin Connolly) is distracted by the pregnancy of his on / off girlfriend Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui). And ex-driver-turned-tequila-magnate Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) is busy flirting with fighter-cum-movie-star Ronda Rousey.
The quartet aren’t the only characters back. Vince's former agent Ari (Jeremy Piven) is firing out his usual obscenities in his new job as studio head, working up an ulcer as Vince refuses to show him a cut of the film. More minor players return too – everyone from Ari’s ex-assistant Lloyd (Rex Lee) to radical director Billy (Rhys Coiro) get their moment. A little more disappointing are the traditional celeb cameos: some, like footballer Thierry Henry, are blink-and-you’ll-miss-them; others, like Armie Hammer, just miss the mark.
Whether you’ll enjoy watching these characters over the length of a movie, compared to a more digestible 25-minute episode, rather depends on how much Hollywood excess you can take. Glossy and gaudy, it’s all surface and little substance. But then Entourage fans wouldn’t have it any other way.
General release from Fri 19 Jun.