MOVIE THEATER REVIEW: “Everything Everywhere All at Once” stars Michelle Yeoh (Crazy Rich Asians, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon), Stephanie Hsu (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel [TV series], The Path [TV series]), Ke Huy Quan (Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Goonies), James Hong (Big Trouble in Little China, Kung Fu Panda), Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween , Knives Out), Tallie Medel (The Carnivores, Fourteen), Jenny Slate (I Want You Back, Zootopia), Harry Shum Jr. (Crazy Rich Asians, Shadowhunters [TV series]), and Biff Wiff (Trade Show Show [TV series], Dragnet [TV series]). It is written and directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (Swiss Army Man, Omniboat: A Fast Boat Fantasia).
Evelyn Wang (Yeoh), a struggling laundromat owner, finds herself thrown down a rabbit hole when she is tasked with saving a multiverse from a dark being.
I can’t explain to you all enough how long I’ve awaited a return from Daniels. The two dudes who brought us “Swiss Army Man” are back with a story that’s somehow more wild, outrageous, silly, and awkward. Thank goodness they were given the money to make it.
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” is a multiverse mind-melt for the ages. While everyone’s clamoring for Doctor Strange to tap into multiple realities, Daniels sought to make their hero an ordinary Asian laundromat owner who has a strained relationship with her family. How long it took them to pen this script would be my first question, as the story is fast, loud, in your face, and all over the place. Never letting up until the third act when the themes planted take their ultimate shape. Really, this movie should come with a warning; something to better prepare the mind for the warp it will endure. Because let me tell you, it’s begging for a second watch, while also saying that the mechanics of this world are too complicated to grasp.
From start to finish, this flick pulls all the stops, with incredible performances, imaginative storytelling, outlandish visual effects, and some heartfelt moments that hit home. Where “Swiss Army Man” was the brain child, this one is the brain adult, fully sprinting to a bagel oblivion that will leave a lasting impression (whether good or bad is entirely up to you). I for one was left in a flurry of thoughts; just when you think you know what you’re getting into, you’re thrown for a loop.
The strongest asset “Everything” has is its performances. My goodness. They’re some of the best to come out of this year. Michelle Yeoh is astounding, delivering a role that is so out of her wheelhouse while at the same time crushing it. And Ke Huy Quan, returning to the limelight after such a long hiatus. He was hilarious, and my favorite character of the entire film. He captured what we loved with Short Round and Data (even having a tool kit in this), while branching into something different and joyful. His dynamic with Yeoh was the best, and I found it to be the greatest arc that was presented by the story (especially in its conclusion). Jamie Lee Curtis also starred in this, playing a role that made her almost unrecognizable. It’s a side character that garnered laughs and made for quite a villain; something I give her props for doing (for this is such an odd project). With Stephanie Hsu and James Hong rounding out the main cast, this movie capitalized on its style in the best way with actors who knew the assignment.
Trying to describe what goes down in “Everything” would take a long time. It’s a film that is worth seeing to fully understand, and even then you will have questions. I saw this with a friend, and while we understood the themes that were expressed (to a degree), there were certainly elements that tossed our minds like a salad. At some point, you learn to let go and simply experience what’s in front of you, which for the most part is an entertaining joy ride. The visual effects are wonderfully hilarious, the music score is hypnotic, and the style is all kinds of fun. Really, it’s in the third act that I find the most trouble, as the conglomerate of story arc resolutions create a finale that feels like it wraps up multiple times.
Primarily, the story deals with a mother-daughter relationship. But you also have a husband-wife story. I felt more drawn to the husband-wife relationship (as the mother-daughter one waned for me), though I’ll admit that things got messy as we ran down the final stretch. I found myself checking my watch toward the end, as I felt the film was breaching the three-hour threshold. Turns out, it was only two hours and fourteen minutes; meaning the pacing wasn’t entirely sound. Evelyn had a lot to learn, but I felt it to be a bit too much in the long run.
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” is an independent achievement. It’s so out-there original and works on so many levels. Of course, it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea; even I felt a bit disconnected by some of the gross/awkward sequences. And though the third act was shaky, the ride held a lot to marvel. If you’re looking for something unique, this deals that in spades. I recommend it. FINAL SCORE: 90%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer:
Pingback: April Movie Rankings | Juicy Reviews·