Together, these visuals depict a similar NYC as the award-winning animation of 2018’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” just more grown up. This story doesn’t follow comic book characters but rather the people who make them. We get scenes about sex, drug use, and hangovers.
We also get some of Kid Cudi’s politics, which he interweaves smartly throughout “Entergalactic.” When we’re first meeting Meadow, we see her tell her non-Black best friend Karina (Vanessa Hudgens, having fun with her over-the-top character) that all white guys look the same to her, including her manager Reed (Christopher Abbott)—and they’re all ruled out of her dating pool. Why? “Oppression,” she says in a one-word, pithy answer, showing her bad bitch bona fides.
“Entergalactic” is decidedly and unapologetically Black, even as its characters exist in a multiracial world. At his comic book job, Jabari is skeptical of the light-skinned Puerto Rican Len (Arturo Castro) who tries to make a common bond with him, even as his friend group covers the spectrum of human skin tones.
And on gender too, “Entergalactic” asserts a progressive point of view. Both Jabari and Meadow are flawed, dynamic people who have to compromise and grow to find happiness—both are equally human. Furthering this feminist perspective, Jabari tells his buddy Ky (Ty Dolla $ign) to “Stop saying bitches,” modeling what healthy masculinity looks when no feminine eyes are looking. And in a scene that rings true to my experience as a sibling, Jabari calls upon his sister Ellie (Maisha Mescudi) for love advice. She gives it to him straight—bringing the exact right mix of knowledge about women, her brother, and the way the world works.
And that’s before we get to the music.
Kid Cudi has made a name for himself—in music, fashion, and general pop culture—for a reason. His lush numbers here will surely appeal to hip hop heads and neophytes alike. These songs capture the ups and downs of romance and the search for identity that also goes with it. Here, there’s no abrasive aggression or boasting bluster. Instead, it’s soul searching stuff. It’s the type of music anyone can relate to.
As an art piece, “Entergalactic” is evocative, beautiful, and smart. I can picture it playing at parties for decades to come. Just don’t approach it as a TV show.
On Netflix today.
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