- Hamish Hart
Everything Everywhere All At Once (2022) Review
SINCE the new millennium, filmmakers and studios have become more accepting and open to the concept of the multiverse, a theory which suggests there are infinite realities, each with unique differences. Everything Everywhere All At Once pushes this concept to its brink to create a movie that you may not understand on the surface, but can't help but be respected.
Chinese immigrant Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh), whose life is stagnating, is told she is the only person who can save the multiverse from an impending threat capable of destroying all matter. In order to stop this cataclysmic event, Evelyn must explore an infinite number of universes alongside a different version of her husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quan) to discover her full potential and the lives she could've lived.
It should be said right off the bat that this is not a film for everybody. The plot can become confusing almost instantaneously due to the constant shift in universes, as well as the visual style and comedy directors Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert decide to take. But much like the film's plot, if you're able to dig deeper and witness the bigger picture and message being told, Everything Everywhere All At Once isn't really about the multiverse at all; it's about a woman experiencing a cynical and repetitious life as she constantly wonders what could have been, and whether nurturing a family was the right path to take in this wild adventure we call life.
To portray different versions of the same character is always a difficult task, but all actors manage to nail their respective roles. Michelle Yeoh does a wonderful job as our protagonist, acting as a gateway for the audience to put themselves into this expansive multiverse concept. Jamie Lee Curtis and Jenny Slate are introduced early-on and do well as almost comedic standbys, but deliver just enough moments of intentness to not be considered one note. But for my money, the two best in the film were Ke Huy Quan and Stephanie Hsu, who portray Evelyn's husband and daughter respectively. Quan comes off so earnest in his supportful husband roles, jumping back and forth between Evelyn's mentor and oblivious partner in a return to form for Quan considering the fact he hasn't acted in nearly 20 years. Hsu's character arc is what truly carries her performance, but that's not to say she was bad - far from it - as the her insecure teenager attempting to come out to her entire family is one that is paid off in an amazingly choregraphed, emotionally-supercharged climax that performs a paradigm shift and changes the status quo to what a normal action film ending would be.
Everything Everywhere All At Once is such an interesting film to talk about and review as there isn't much to say without ruining the experience. Amazing performances and superbly written characters, alongside by all-encompassing action sequences that push the limit of what could be for future kung-fu flicks are all positives to say about this game-changing multiverse adventure that will either leave you wanting more or make you want to turn off 20 minutes in. But if you're curious about branching out your film genres, I plead you to give EEAAO a chance. Trust me, it's worth the trip.