When I sit down to write my reviews, I tend to do a bit of homework and check out how well received the subject matter has been by the masses, to see if the generally held opinion differs from my own.
Most of the time what I find doesn’t surprise me, but on occasion it does.
I’ve just come home from watching the Entourage movie, which I’ve enjoyed, but it appears to have been slated by almost all critics.
If you do a quick google search you’ll note that it gets 29% on Rotten Tomatoes, 38% on Metacritic and a host of one/two star reviews with taglines such as “Smug, Unfunny LA Bromance”, “Awash With Delusional Confidence” and “Entourage is so bad it puts us in a terrible mood”.
The thrust of the criticism is that it’s a poor plot, that it’s overloaded with pointless cameos, that the characters aren’t likeable, that it’s Hollywood at its most self-indulgent at a time when it should be focussing on movies with worldwide appeal and that it feels like an extended version of a TV episode.
Now fair enough, some of those criticisms have merit – particularly the last couple – but surely any review of Entourage should ask one single and simple question to anyone who is thinking about going to see it…
Did you like the TV show?
If you did, then go and you’ll like it. It’s a worthy follow-up to the HBO comedy.
If you didn’t, don’t bother because it’s more of the same, and you still won’t like it.
If you’ve never seen it, you’ll struggle to appreciate it one way or the other, even if it does try to fill new viewers in with some expository scenes offering a potted history of the show at the start.
But that’s the problem with movies that continuations of TV shows; when the papers and entertainment websites send someone along to review them, these people might be turning up with a negative mindset. I mean, I don’t like Mrs Browns Boys, so I was never going to see the movie. If I did, I’d go along to it knowing that I wouldn’t enjoy it, and so my review would be a foregone conclusion.
So anyone who didn’t like Entourage the TV show – and based on the content of some of these reviews, I’m guessing plenty of these writers didn’t – will not like this.
The same criticisms of the TV show will apply here. I mean, there are parts of it I don’t like. I’ve always found Vince to be a dreary, one-dimensional character played by an actor more wooden than Pinocchio, while Eric always seemed miscast and mildly unlikable. If you ask people what they like about Entourage the TV show, the chances are they’ll say Ari Gold and Johnny Drama. That’s where the humour was then and that’s where it is now.
Yes, this is basically an extended episode of the TV show with more cameos than ever, but why would anyone who actually spends their money to go to see a movie about Entourage want or expect anything different?
It’s bizarre to think otherwise.
So while the critics shit upon it from a great height, perhaps take some advice from the cast, who have said “Lighten up; it’s not Citizen Kane”.
You get what you pay for.
Calls to Action
b) Read about my books – focussing on reviews of Doctor Who from the very beginning – here
c) If you appreciate my sense of humour, go ‘Stuart’s Exciting Anecdote of the Day’