It’s “Entourage,” the show that plumbs the sparkly depths of shallow.
Oh, sorry. Did I say “show”? I meant “movie.”
Ah, no. “Show” is what this is. Moved to the big screen, to be sure, after an eight-season run on HBO, but it’s merely a continuation and not an expansion of what has gone before.
Picking up right after the events of the 2011 series finale, it features all the same faces — Adrian Grenier as vapid A-list star Vince, Kevin Connolly as Vince’s agent nicknamed E, Kevin Dillon as Vince’s lunkheaded C-list actor half-brother Johnny Drama, Jerry Ferrara as likable schmo Turtle and Jeremy Piven as big shot Hollywood executive Ari Gold. They are haunting all the same places — high-tone eateries, seaside mansions, humungous offices — that they haunted on TV.
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The series/movie is a celebration of palship, a raunchy bromance, with longtime buddies from Queens living large in Tinseltown. As far as personalities go though, these guys, with the possible exception of wheeler-dealer Ari (played with maximum volatility by Piven), are about a micron deep.
They wallow in a world of bikinied babes undulating at maximum jiggle, of Caddies, Ferraris and other megabucks motor vehicles, brightly gleaming, and of celebrities popping up in cameos around every corner. Look! There’s Russell Wilson, flipping a football at a party! And Liam Neeson, flipping the bird at Ari. And good grief! Is that Warren Buffet? ’Tis.
And of course there’s (briefly) Mark Wahlberg, on whose life and experiences “Entourage” is loosely based.
Writer-director Doug Ellin obviously intends to satirize Hollywood excessiveness, but his “Entourage” embraces that excess in a death grip. Hollywood movies mocking Hollywood mores are a longtime Hollywood staple, from “Singin’ in the Rain” to “The Player” to “Barton Fink.” But because “Entourage” is too enamored of the thing it wants to mock to be satirically effective and because its characters are so numbingly superficial, the picture falls flat.