‘Entourage’: Movie goes through the TV show’s old motions

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The HBO series “Entourage” was a slick, funny, sexy slice of eye candy, loosely based on Mark Wahlberg’s early adventures in Hollywood as a rising star — but by the time the show ended its seven-year run in 2011, it had already been spinning its wheels for a couple of years.

Four years later, here comes “Entourage” the movie, and it’s like catching up with an old friend and remembering why you don’t hang out with him anymore: He’s stuck in a rut and he has nothing new to say.

Prettyboy leading man Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) is betting his career on a risky, expensive vanity project.

Vinnie’s clueless lunk of an older brother, Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon), has a supporting role in Vincent’s movie and is hoping he’ll FINALLY have a career breakthrough.

Vinnie’s manager Eric “E” Murphy (Kevin Connolly) is in the throes of a romantic dilemma.

The hapless Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) is bungling his way through a courtship and still fighting for respect in Hollywood — and he’s still driving the guys around town, even though he’s worth millions thanks to his tequila company.

Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven, three-time Emmy winner for the role and still stealing every scene he’s in) is no longer an agent — he’s running a studio — but he still seems to spend every waking minute obsessing over Vinnie’s career and trying to manage his rage issues.

Nearly every other scene contains a celebrity cameo. There’s Russell Wilson at a party! Liam Neeson at a stoplight! Jessica Alba on a studio lot! Even Mark Wahlberg himself!

Where have we seen this all before? Oh, that’s right: the TV series.

You know a movie’s in trouble when several minutes are devoted to a Piers Morgan interview with Vinnie and “E.” Piers Morgan as Piers Morgan? I don’t want to see that on TV, let alone on the big screen.

Written and directed by series creator Doug Ellin, “Entourage” the movie picks up just a few days after the events of the series finale, and here’s your SPOILER ALERT.

When we last saw the gang, Ari had just been offered the opportunity to run a studio; “E” was trying to make a go of it with a pregnant Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui); Vincent was getting married; and Johnny Drama and Turtle were, um, being Johnny Drama and Turtle.

Now Vinnie’s getting an instant divorce, E and Sloan are on the outs, a slimmed-down Turtle is pursuing UFC superstar Ronda Rousey, Johnny Drama is humiliated on the Internet and on an audition and Ari’s freaking out because his first movie as a studio chief is a $100 million remake of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” called “Hyde,” with Vincent directing himself as the title character, who’s now a DJ. (The movie within the movie is even worse than it sounds.)

Even the insider-Hollywood stuff feels a bit off. Ari jets down to Texas to plead with a billionaire (Billy Bob Thornton) and his idiot son (Haley Joel Osment) for a few extra million to finish “Hyde.” The son comes back with Ari and essentially holds the movie hostage in a series of scenes that feel cartoonishly inaccurate.

Piven is still great as Ari, but we’ve seen these epic meltdowns before. The four main members of the entourage have a loose and comfortable chemistry. Grenier never became a movie star, but he’s utterly believable playing one. The Hollywood of “Entourage’ is overflowing with gorgeous women, all of whom will go home with Vincent if he even looks in their direction. (At least Debi Mazar as Vinnie’s publicist and Constance Zimmer as an exec are strong women with real careers.) There’s gratuitous nudity, lots of partying, zippy camera moves, plenty of product placement and did we mention all those celebrity cameos?

It all feels more like a rerun than a fully formed, stand-alone movie.

[s3r star=2/4]

Warner Bros. presents a film written and directed by Doug Ellin. Running time: 104 minutes. Rated R (for pervasive language, strong sexual content, nudity and some drug use). Opens Wednesday at local theaters.

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