There's No Contest Between 'Narcos' & 'Medellin'

by Keertana Sastry

When it comes down to properly comparing Netflix's Narcos to Medellin from Entourage , the fake project starring Vincent Chase as Pablo Escobar, it's actually a hard feat. For starters, it's worth nothing that Narcos is actually a great take on, not just Pablo Escobar's reign a drug kingpin, but more so a fascinating look on the DEA Agents, Steve Murphy and Javier Pena, who tried to take him down. Here's what we do know about Medellin from Entourage, the fake film did get a trailer release before the second half of Entourage Season 3 premiered, so we get a glimpse at Chase in the Escobar makeup and the grand scale on which the film is set. But, really, that's about all we see of Medellin and how much it tanked Vincent Chase's career on the show. So, how do these two Escobar projects stack up against one another?

The most obvious comparison will always come down to authenticity. From the staging of the scenes and the hair and makeup of Pablo Escobar to the casting, directing, and the overt choice of going with style over substance — it's all pretty clear when critically looking at the amount of footage we get to see of Medellin, that Narcos excells. There's also the very obvious reason why Narcos beats Medellin by a landslide: time. Narcos has significantly more time to explore the truth of the Colombian drug cartel, thanks to being a Netflix series — which has already been renewed for Season 2 — over a four-hour long film (yup, Billy never did cut down the film for the screening). But, in the interest of thoroughly evaluating these two pieces of work, let's look at a handful of other factors a bit deeper.

1. Pablo Escobar's Look

Wagner Moura, who stars in Narcos, looks much more believable as Pablo Escobar than Vincent Chase (aka Adrian Grenier). As Richard Roeper stated in his fake review of the film (when he made an appearance in Entourage), Chase is in a "fat suit and bad makeup that makes him look like the love child of Jiminy Glick and a case of Twinkies." Plus, Moura is a Brazilian actor and has the feel of Escobar much better than any look at Medellin gave us about Chase's performance.

2. Casting In General

Then, of course, there's the actual casting of Vincent Chase. If Chase really had to be a part of the film since Billy Walsh was directing, couldn't he have played DEA Agent Pena? It's a role that Pedro Pascal plays excellently in Narcos and could have had quite a bit of meat to it if Chase took on the role under Billy's reign of the film. Casting a pre-fame Sofia Vergara as Virginia Vellejo is not a bad choice, but Stephanie Sigman also excels playing the character Valeria, based on Vellejo.

3. No Real Mention Of The Investigation

We see a tiny snippet of DEA agents talking about Escobar in Medellin's fake trailer, but that's about it. Narcos is all about the investigation and we know that real-life Murphy and Pena helped the TV series to be as accurate as possible with most of its DEA-related storylines. Unfortunately, we don't actually see any the details of the investigation to take Escobar down in Medellin, unless the explosion at the end of the trailer is supposed to represent the DEA blowing up Escobar's house. Speaking of which...

4. Style Over Substance

Where is the actual authenticity of story here? It's funny to be nitpicking a fake film, considering we've only ever seen about two minutes of it, but even from that two minutes we get nothing but a scene involving torture that cuts periodically to someone killing a chicken. The trailer is also marred with Chase delivering some corny, dramatic lines before shooting a bunch of people. And that's Medellin in a nut shell — no wonder people booed it at Cannes in Entourage and no wonder the film was given a straight-to-DVD release. Narcos has fared much better and deservedly so. And I, for one, cannot wait to see where the story takes fans in Season 2.

Images: Daniel Daza/Netflix; Giphy