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JABARI_FL_B_6.8.22

The Entergalactic visual feature from Kid Cudi survives on positive energy and even greater beauty.

When you consider Netflix’s Entergalactic as a companion piece to Kid Cudi’s upcoming album, it transforms into a “television event” with a lot more emotional resonance.

 

Entergalactic, Netflix’s new “television event” from Kid Cudi and Kenya Barris, feels like a project that might not exist were it not for the specific ways that Beyoncé’s self-titled visual album from 2013 and Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse animated feature both captivated the world’s imagination. The care that went into creating Entergalactic’s exquisite aesthetics and the desire for it to be a massive, multisensory masterpiece like those projects are both evident. But Entergalactics’s excellent looks and ambition are only able to take it but so far as a standalone movie, which is why it works so much better when you go in looking at it as a companion piece to Kid Cudi’s music.

 

Jabari (Cudi, who is credited as Scott Mescudi) is an artist whose steadily rising profile has essentially given him everything he’s been dreaming of in Entergalactic’s surprisingly grounded tale of fate, missed connections, and love. Jabari has spent years developing a personal fanbase through murals and other forms of street art that feature his original characters. Now that he is employed full-time by a comic book publisher, he is confident that, with the right strategy, he can advance his illustration career.

 

Jabari isn’t always certain which decision to make in order to advance at Cosmic Comics. Jabari and his close pals Jimmy (Timothée Chalamet) and Ky (Ty Dolla $ign, also known as Tyrone Griffin Jr.), however, recognise that he’s doing something right and make a point of recognising his achievement once his new job results in his moving into a posh new apartment. Jabari’s upbringing suggests that he’s about to embark on a 20-something bachelor’s odyssey through New York City, but that begins to change when he meets Meadow (Jessica Williams), a mysterious photographer with the chillest of vibes, who moves in next door.

 

Because he just ended his previous relationship with Carmen (Laura Harrier), his ex-girlfriend, Jabari is unsure about whether he should pursue Meadow. However, when Entergalactic begins, it is clear that the two are attracted to one another, and this attraction only intensifies as the movie moves back and forth between their emotional spheres.

 

Entergalactic on Netflix is a simple tale of two half-star-crossed lovers who discover that they are each other’s people, and it works just fine on its own. However, when viewed as the accompanying film to Kid Cudi’s upcoming studio album of the same name, Entergalactic, which builds upon the mythos of a fictionalised love story first described in his 2009 song “Enter Galactic (Love Connection Part I),” the Fletcher Moules-directed film makes a lot more sense narratively. You can see and feel exactly how much of Entergalactic the movie’s structure and pacing were influenced by Entergalactic the record, which here acts as the soundtrack to Jabari’s life, as the story of Entergalactic develops throughout the numerous titled segments that break up its hour and a half length.

 

Although the narrative in Ian Edelman and Maurice Williams’ script doesn’t always seem to be entirely consistent with the various mental states that Cudi inhabits in the songs from Entergalactic (the album), the feature is careful to avoid feeling like an excessive music video masquerading as a film. When Entergalactic zooms in on Jabari and Meadow’s relationship, it sometimes veers into aesthetically and sonically surreal territory, and many of the rhythms that create their romance are well-known to the point of being predictable. But soon after Jabari and Meadow first meet, Entergalactic begins to unexpectedly delve into some of its rom-com clichés, which results in some of the film’s most compelling set pieces displaying the skills of the DNEG animation company.

 

In some scenes, especially during its several actual dream sequences where Jabari’s concerns appear as a living representation of his iconic character Mr. Rager, Entergalactic is genuinely beautiful (Keith David). But just as you occasionally get the impression that the movie was made as an add-on to an album, Entergalactic on Netflix feels like it merely scratches the surface of what Mescudi and Barris had in mind when it was first announced as a series. Having said that, Entergalactic is much easier to dip into and out of because it is a movie rather than an episodic plot. This distinguishes it from some of the other adult-oriented animated films that have lately come out.

 

Jaden Smith, Teyana Taylor, Christopher Abbott, Vanessa Hudgens, and Macaulay Culkin are among the other cast members of Entergalactic. On September 30, the movie will premiere on Netflix.

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