Director: Doug Ellin
Starring: Kevin Connolly, Arian Grenier, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara, Jeremy Piven, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Perrey Reeves, Rex Lee, Haley Joel Osment, Ronda Rousey, Alan Dale, Billy Bob Thornton
Plot: Picking up where the series left off Vincent Chase (Grenier) has now separated from his wife after nine days of marriage and now rounding his friends Eric (Connolly), Turtle (Ferrara) and Johnny Drama (Dillon) up he plans to take his career to the next level by directing his next film “Hyde” which is being produced by his former agent Ari (Piven) who has since become a studio boss.
Review: After eight great seasons the fans were understandably alittle miffed with how the abrupt the final episode choose to wrap the series up with as Vincent Chase randomly had the sudden desire to marry the girl he’s been seeing for all of five minutes. Now given a second chance to put things right Director and series creator Doug Ellin chooses to use this film to finally give the fans the ending they wanted rather than trying to take the “Sex and The City” path of trying to continue the series as movies, even though as I write this rumours persist at a possible trilogy.
Opening with the four friends reuniting and with Vincent now newly single and seemingly none the fussed about his recent failed marriage it’s essentially business as usual as the group continue their Hollywood based antics while Vincent’s directorial debut lingers in post-production while Ari attempts to find the $10 million needed to complete the movie while Vincent only hampers his efforts by refusing to show the film to anyone. Eric meanwhile has essentially the only other plotline here has to deal with pending fatherhood while still separated from his ex-girlfriend Sloan (Chriqui), which he seemingly has chosen to handle by basically whoring himself out with various vacuous model types in a move which seems completely out of character from the voice of reason he was in the series and as a result comes off as kind of a douche for the most part here when separated from the rest of the group.
Despite the fact that the group are supposed to be the main focus, you can’t help but feel that like with the series Jeremy Pivan once again has stolen the show as the frequently volatile and foul mouthed Ari. Now having graduated to being a Studio Head with the time out from the Hollywood scenes clearly having done little to calm him down as he remains as much of a hair trigger hustler as before thanks largely to being tasked with getting money out the Texan investor Larsen McCredle (Thornton) who inturn only adds to the continuingly escalating series of issues that Ari has to deal with as he insists that his son Travis (Osment) view the film which Vincent is still refusing to show anyone. Having been chewed up by the Hollywood dream, these recent roles which we have seen Haley Joel Osment taking on as an adult actor have been fascinating to watch and here once more its none the different as while perhaps not a grand standing performance is still one of the better ones here as he plays up the spoilt brat trying to emulate his big shot father.
For the most part the film version gives us nothing that we didn’t get with the series apart from the larger budget allowing more extravagance to sell the audience the Hollywood fantasy that fuelled the show and this film as well, while once more we are bombarded with random A list cameos much like the series which seemingly had everyone from Scarlett Johansson through to Aaron Sorkin making an appearance. Here the cameos are once more accounted for with series favourite Gary Busey putting in another random appearance alongside seemingly everyone else they missed out on getting for the series with Armie Hammer, Jon Favreau, Kelsey Grammer and Jessica Alba all put in memorable apperences, while on the more grating side of things we also get a self-satisfied and sickeningly smug (but when isn’t he) appearance by Piers Morgan who seemingly hadn’t been run out of the states at this point and whose appearance here only serves to remind us all of what a pretentious prick he is.
The real fun of these A-list showings though comes from UFC fighter Rhonda Rousey here playing herself as Turtle now looking considerably lighter than the last time tries to win her affections with his usual clumsy charms and which ultimately ends in him trying to last 30 seconds inside the octagon with her in one of the best moments of the film with Turtle like Johnny Drama coming off the best here of the foursome with Drama at the end finally getting some kind of closure to his journey we’ve followed him on from the series to the movie version.
Ultimately this film is really a goodbye for the fans rather than the newcomers while clearly set in a fantastical version of Hollywood were Vincent despite having no directing ability or any discernible skills outside of his boyish charms or carefree attitude can churn out a critical acclaimed film which from the clip we see of the film seemed to be taking its cues from Richard Kelly’s criminally underrated “Southland Tales. Yes this film is far from perfect with some of the plotlines such as Eric’s failures to deal with impending fatherhood come off feeling like an afterthought, but as a new ending to the Entourage saga it’s better than we had before.