Originally intended as a television series, the project hit screens as a 92-minute Netflix special. Entergalactic follows the life of its protagonist Jabari (Kid Cudi), who is sworn to romantic celibacy: he navigates the realms of his newfound success (turning his street art into a comic series) while sparing no time for a relationship. The arrival of his new neighbour—the achingly hippieish yet nonetheless charming Meadow (Jessica Williams)—proves that breaking that pact could be a risk worth taking. Timothée Chalamet and Ty Dolla $ign bounce off of each other effortlessly in their roles as Jabari’s best friends and spiritual guides, providing the warmest company a screen has to offer while proving serious contenders for 2022’s best cinematic blunt rotation.
The streets of New York thrive under the brushstrokes of DNEG Animation Studios, serving what may be one of the most spellbinding visual feats we’ve laid eyes on this year. The city is a kaleidoscopic riot; every street corner crammed with the brightest of faces, each building smothered with graffiti and the greens of central park bursting to life. Alongside the cosmic sounds of Cudi’s album, I had initial fears that such a sensory tour de force may be overcompensating for a lazy effort in script and storytelling. And while certainly lacking a bit of depth, Entergalactic’s charm is that it never really set out to be that deep in the first place. The result is an unproblematic tale of life and love in the city, and a much-needed break from the unbearably metaphorical, psychologically scarring films that your friends always seem to recommend. For an hour and a half, we join our newfound companion on an urban safari from workplace boredom to late night, vagina-themed parties, all veiled in a thick, eternal cloud of weed smoke (seriously Jabari… while brushing your teeth?).
Entergalactic is an ode to the city, to good times, to giving love a chance, and, last but not least, to Cudi’s late friend Virgil Abloh, who’s creative insignia marks the series’ various outfits, billboards and street art. It’s a concept seen a thousand times before, but rarely with such beauty. And no matter how formulaic it may be, it’s hard to sit through Entergalactic without a constant grin.