The film comes as a companion piece to Kid Cudi's album of the same name which was released simulataneously on September 30, 2022.
20s-something street artist Jabari moves to Manhattan with new and exciting prospects on the horizon. His highly popular graffiti character Mr. Rager is getting a comic book adaptation, his ex-girlfriend Carmen is interested in him again, and his posh new flat in the city has neighbours who party till the crack of dawn. But a chance meeting with his neighbour Meadow, a photographer, on an odd night ends up sparking the cinders of romance in Jabari’s mind - Meadow is charming, beautiful and enigmatic but can Jabari clear his mental mess and make space for love in his life?
Back in 2010, Kid Cudi spoke off the fictional character Mr. Rager as an embodiment of his own battles with instincts and impulses, thus resulting in a messy fusion. Mr. Rager is a fictional character by all means but for Cudi it meant a lot more as he manifested his thoughts and jitters of being a hip-hop star, allowing the alternate version to indulge in the very ‘rage’ that occupied his mind.
And about 12 years later, Mr. Rager makes a ceremonious comeback but this time as an outward graffiti imagination of the character that Kid Cudi plays in the new animated feature Entergalactic. In the latest Netflix film, Cudi plays an enterprising street artist who goes about town embossing Mr. Rager on the walls of New York City, leaving subtle impressions of himself in the pursuit. For Cudi, Mr. Rager is still an expression of the anger and fervency he feels toward society but it is apparent through Entergalactic that the musician is willing to detach himself from that ethos and through Jabari, he looks to be pursuing a more meaningful and tranquil life.
Entergalactic comes as a companion piece to Scott Mescudi or Kid Cudi’s latest music album of the name and much like most of the artist’s work, the new animated rendition is beguiling and cryptic but also very soothing. Kid Cudi, aside from being the screenwriter and composer, also voices the central character Jabari and channels his thoughts through a young street artist Jabari who, on the cusp of professional success, runs into his charming neighbour Meadow (voiced by Jessica Williams). It’s a chance run-in, mind you, but for Jabari, it was a love-at-first-sight encounter with Meadow and to make things more delightful, the feeling seems mutual.
There’s an ethereal quality to this connection, a sense of near perfection, but just as the romance between them begins to blossom, one realizes that Entergalactic isn’t really a love story or even a story of love. In fact, the film is about the rarity of encountering and embracing true love and how, at the end of the day, one needs to wholeheartedly make room for it.
But that doesn’t mean that Entergalactic is a character study. What was initially meant to be an animated series, the film is shaped as a series of vignettes (divided into multiple sections with individual titles) that traverse through reality and vibrant fantasy, all through the eyes of Jabari. At its heart, Entergalactic is a multisensory experience that combines various art forms and lends Kid Cudi the platform to contextualize his music and lyrics through rich visuals. The film is experimental, no doubt, but for Cudi and his writers, it’s a mode of extending the vibe of the soundtrack and allowing the listeners a peek into the artist’s mind.
As far as the cast is concerned, Kid Cudi and Jessica Williams breathe soul into their respective characters and they are ably supported by Timothée Chalamet, Tyrone Griffin Jr., Vanessa Hudgens, Christopher Abbott, Jaden Smith, Macaulay Culkin, and many others.
Entergalactic isn’t the most plot-based movie out there on Netflix and nor is it a full-fledged, per se, but the animation feature works completely on the vibe level. With the help of alluring animation work that depicts New York City and urban life through the prism of lushness and colour, the film is a charming cerebral experience that is surely worth your time. If you have a taste for animated content curated specifically for grown-ups, Entergalactic has to be your pick.