Friday, April 1, 2022

Everything Everywhere All At Once - Movie Review


The Movie: Everything Everywhere All At Once

The Director: Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert

The Cast: Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, Jenny Slate, Harry Shum Jr., James Hong and Jamie Lee Curtis

The Story: An aging Chinese immigrant is swept up in an insane adventure, where she alone can save the world by exploring other universes connecting with the lives she could have led.


The Review:
Every once in a while, a movie comes along that changes the game, creates new possibilities, and gives us something we never knew we needed or wanted. From the moment I first saw the trailer for Everything Everywhere All At Once, I had a feeling it was going to be something special. There are definite parallels and similarities to other movies and yet it is a wholly original work of art that will absolutely blow your mind. If you want comparisons, there are some obvious ones with the MCU and it's newly unraveling multiverse, The Matrix and it's concepts of identity and Neo being "The One", and I'll throw in inception because of how idealized it is as a theatrical experience.

This movie is created by the dynamic directing duo of  Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, collectively known as "The Daniels" and they also wrote the story which is an achievement in and of itself. What they have put together with this movie, the story, the visuals, the chorography, the music, and just everything, is something I don't think will be topped this year and I say that knowing we have Doctor Strange, Spiderverse, and Avatars on the way. It's not that this is a huge spectacle type movie that will make your head explode like those franchises, but it does have elements of each of them and it does them in a way that maintains a contained and intimate story, if that makes sense.

Michelle Yeah is the star of this movie. Let me say that again. Michelle Yeah is the star of this movie. She is the star of the movie in every way a person can be. She absolutely owns everything about her character Evelyn Wang from the high powered martial arts expert fans have always loved her for to the struggling small business owner and failing matriarch that we can more than appreciate as a real life human being. There are so many layers to Evelyn and so much to unpack about her being a businesswoman, a mom, a wife, a mother, a woman, an Asian American, and a human being, every bit of which is somehow explored in fine detail while an insane multiverse story is unfolding around her.

I can't say enough about how good Michelle Yeoh's performance is in this movie because there is just so much being asked of her physically, mentally, emotionally, and every other type of -ally you can think of. She has been a queen in the industry for decades going all the way back to action films and martial arts movies of the early to mid 80's. A lot of people might know her from her roles as Eleanor Young Crazy Rich Asians and Ying Nan in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, but she's been doing it and doing it big for nearly four decades. I would recommend checking out the Supercop and Heroic Trio franchises to get an idea of how she first burst onto the scene.

From this point forward, it's really hard to explain anything else about the movie or why it is so good because it really starts to go off the rails in the most amazingly wild and entertaining ways. I love how the directors go all in with the multiverse concept and they aren't afraid to just get real weird with it. This is the first time I've seen any movie that involves a multiverse or alternate realities really convey the concept of infinite possibility because if you choose to go down that rabbit hole, every moment, every decision, every action literally has infinite possibilities.

I think at this point it's best to tell you to just go see this movie and prepare for anything to happen because everything does happen and all of it is amazing. Does it get goofy and wacky and insane at times? Absolutely yes and then more on top of that. It's a minor miracle that the filmmakers are able to make sense of everything they throw at you and within that, Evelyn's personal journey as a mom, a wife, and a business owner is fully realized in a very emotional and thought provoking way.

Finally, I will say that the casting all the around is just brilliant and you are going to love Jamie Lee Curtis in this movie, dives head first into a character named Deirdre Beaubeirdra, yes you read that right, and you can tell she had a blast making the movie. Jenny Slate, as Big Nose (yes, you also read that right), is also in the movie and she is hilarious because she's always hilarious but in this movie it's in a very different way than we normally see her and it's just perfect. Legendary actor James Hong is also on board as Evelyn's father along with Stephanie Hsu in a surprisingly fun role as Evelyn's daughter, who is very aptly named Joy. I don't mean surprising because I didn't expect it from her but surprising in ways that you just have to see again because the movie is so bonkers.

On top of all of that brilliant casting, the unsung hero of the movie absolutely goes to Ke Huy Quan who does just about everything and anything an actor can be asked to do in a movie playing multiple versions of Evelyn's husband Waymond Wang. Of course, fans will recognize him as Short Round from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and as Data from The Goonies and I feel like we can add Waymond to his list of iconic roles and performances.

I know I said finally already but I'm not done yet, there's too many thoughts about this movie and at the same time, I don't want to hype it up too much for you. Please go into this movie with a completely open mind and ready to take in a truly entertaining cinematic experience. This movie is special in so many ways and is one of those movies I could see myself watching multiple times. Okay, for real, that's all from me. Go watch the movie.


The Verdict:
Everything Everywhere All At Once is everything I was hoping it would be and so much more. This might be the wildest, craziest, and most ambitious movie you will watch this year and all of it works. Please go watch this movie in a movie theater and enjoy an experience that includes an iconic performance from Michelle Yeoh who cements her status as an absolute legend.





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