All everywhere at once Review

Everything Everywhere All at Once was reviewed by the SXSW Film Festival where it had its world premiere. It hits theaters on March 25, 2022.

The multiverse has officially invaded our pop culture landscape, and the idea of ​​seeking out alternate reality characters is everywhere. Of course, when reality is so often grim, it’s very tempting to escape it and take a look at another universe. Everything Everywhere All at Once finds fresh ground to plant a complex seed in this conceit, a fresh take on the trend that’s truly bizarre, gritty, heartfelt and honest. This is a work of art about staring into the abyss, taking stock of the darkness around us and choosing kindness over despair. It also features Michelle Yeoh in an alternate dimension where people have giant hot dogs for fingers, so there’s that too.

The opening scene introduces the Wangs through a mirror as a happy Chinese-American family before jumping in the mirror to reveal a deeply disaffected and broken family on the other side. Evelyn (Yeoh) is in an unhappy marriage to a stubbornly innocent husband, Waymond (the phenomenal Ke Huy Quan), who frustratingly has the bright side in every situation, convincing her to move to California and a better life after her overbearing and intimidating life to find father. Gong Gong (James Hong was having the time of his life at just 93 years old), forbade their marriage and disowned them. Unbeknownst to Evelyn, Waymond isn’t too happy either, as he’s hiding divorce papers that he’s trying to show the courage to be given to his wife. Finally, Evelyn’s daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu) is far from being a byword for her own name, with Evelyn’s lack of appreciation for Joy’s girlfriend revealing a deep source of under-discussed frustration.

The final straw in a life of bad hands being dealt (when she was born the doctor apologized to her father for having a baby girl) is that Evelyn’s laundromat was stalked by the IRS and the human version of Roz by Monsters, Inc., played by Jamie Lee Curtis, in enough makeup and prosthetic work to match Colin Farrell’s penguin. But the trial is interrupted by an urgent plea to Evelyn to save the entire multiverse from annihilation by harnessing the abilities of her more accomplished alternate self. Why is this Evelyn the one who saves them all? For she is literally the least filled, the greatest unwritten slate of all; a woman who has failed at every single hobby, dream and goal she has ever attempted.

Yeoh delivers arguably the best performance of her career yet as a character going through a deep midlife crisis. Not only does Yeoh do a great job of depicting the emptiness of main Evelyn’s life, but she makes each of her alternate selves feel unique yet recognizable in the various choices they’ve made. Everything Everywhere All at Once firmly recognizes that once you start thinking about the paths not taken, once you absorb everything in your life, wherever you go, there is no choice but to realize how pointless it all is, at once. This is a film that feels unique, made by millennials watching the world crumble around them; It is a painful piece of irony that it comes out not only in the midst of a pandemic, but as global political strife heats up. It just so happens to fit the specific time we’re in, even if the filmmakers happened to stumble upon it — it’s about thinking that things can change for the better while realizing that trying to convey the bleak and changing the hopeless future before us is fruitless. Since Lars von Trier’s Melancholia, no film has portrayed clinical depression and the feeling of just wanting to jump into the abyss so oppressively and accurately. And yet this film is anything but hopeless. On the contrary, it comes out the other side with a renewed sense of hope, preferring kindness and decency to despair.

Of course, this is a film by the Daniels, a directing duo that made their feature film debut a film about a farting corpse whose tail served as a compass – There was just no way this would be a complete downer. Instead, Everything Everywhere All at Once is also absolutely exhilarating and gross and packed with kick-ass action. The Daniels (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert) are adept at using toilet humor to convey deep and complex ideas, and this film is full of it. This is a movie where the IRS building is full of dildo shaped trophies it presents to its employees making jokes about Disney’s Ratatouille can advance the plot, and a universe where people with hot dogs for fingers can lead to one of the most touching romantic scenes ever featured in a sci-fi action movie.

And make no mistake, this one is an action film – one of the best in years. Despite running for over two hours, he never stops moving, with the camera acting as an extension of Evelyn’s undiagnosed ADHD, always frenetic and kinetic. By opening up about her alternate self, Evelyn not only struggles with how her life has unfolded, but gets one too Millennium actress– Like a look at her life in the chapters of “What If” that celebrate Yeoh’s incredible career. The action is never boring or repetitive either, as we transition from a version of Evelyn, a martial arts expert, to an opera singer, a chef, and even a sign-turner, with the Daniels finding unique situations to use each bizarre ability deadly.

Everything Everywhere All at Once also serves as a celebration of Asian cinema in general.

Everything Everywhere All at Once also serves as a celebration of Asian cinema in general, with stunning tributes to everyone from Wong Kar-Wai to Stephen Chow and Jackie Chan, and even a little Satoshi Kon thrown in as an encore. The result, a film that truly feels like it encompasses everything, everywhere, and at the same time, is monumental. It’s similar to when The Matrix took all the fears and ideas of its time and turned them into a stylish action film with great thoughts.

That Everything Everywhere All at Once will be produced by former Marvel mainstays the Russo brothers and that it will come out of it Spider-Man: No Way Home still resonating in theaters is ironic, because at a fraction of its budget, this film makes for an infinitely better multiverse production than any superhero film has ever come close to matching. While the idea of ​​a multiverse is exciting, television and film have largely focused on its wild, large-scale possibilities. But the Daniels manage to both explore the broader implications of this concept on the galactic brain and tell a fairly intimate story about feeling like your life is going nowhere and the world is going to hell , as they choose to embrace the little moments of joy and just be nicer to those around them. This is a film that could only be made now, a film that encompasses everything but can be appreciated and understood everywhere at the same time.

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