Directed by : Dan Kwan, Daniel Scheinert
Written by : Dan Kwan, Daniel Scheinert
Starring : Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, Jenny Slate, Harry Shum Jr., James Hong, and Jamie Lee Curtis.
The year 2022 promised us with a multiversal odyssey in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. But surprisingly (and pleasantly so) it is Everything Everywhere All at Once that takes the proverbial cake.
Directed by Dan Kwan & Daniel Scheinert AKA the Daniels who previously helmed the cult-classic Swiss Army Man. Everything Everywhere All at Once follows Michelle Yeoh’s Evelyn — a struggling mother who’s juggling between a rocky marriage, and a deteriorating relationship with her openly-gay daughter whose she’s scared of introducing to her very demanding father. An already compelling premise that’s then compounded by a whacky and imaginative multiverse element that launches Evelyn into a jaw-dropping quest that forces her to evolve as a character.
At face value, Everything Everywhere All at Once might seem like an over-indulgent multiversal-palooza that eventually crumbles on its own arthouse-induced pretentiousness. But behind the colorful veil of it’s outlandish premise, Everything Everywhere All At Once is a complex family drama that has an axe to grind with the current performative-nihilistic attitude that plagues modern entertainment today.
The Daniels have crafted an endearing story about generational trauma and the importance of ending that cycle. Using comedic and bombastic elements to actually propel the narrative instead distracting us from it in the hopes of attracting a wider audience. As crazy and mind boggling the action is in here, most audiences will leave the movie remembering the softer and mundane moments that were so beautifully acted by all of the performers.
The unrelenting optimism that’s woven into the script allows the film to flow smoothly, and makes it easier for audiences to swallow some of its more complex set pieces. While sometimes the pacing of the movie might suffer slightly due to heavy exposition, the Daniels always fit as much intrigue as they can into these scenes to keep audiences engaged.
Michelle Yeoh finally gets to be fully-utilized after years of having her potential wasted by mediocre projects. Additionally, Ke Huy Quan finally returns to the big screen with a layered and wholesome performance that once again — like Yeoh — fully utilizes his abilities, proving that he is so much more than Short Round from Temple of Doom.
Everything Everywhere All at Once is a beautiful feat of storytelling that goes above and beyond its premise. A bright ray of hope in an industry that’s becoming performatively jaded.
Everything Everywhere All At Once is Now Available in Theaters and Digital.