Everything Everywhere All At Once is the mouthful title for the 2022 interdimensional-comedy-drama-martial-arts-action-sci-fi movie directed by The Daniels (i.e. Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert). If you are familiar with their work in Swiss Army Man, you would know they take the absurd route in making a point.
The premise for Everything Everywhere can be summarised as being a story about an immigrant family trying to get their taxes in order while their struggling laundromat business is being audited by the IRS – then hyperdrive that into a multiverse of madness where the universe’s very existence is threatened.
The movie is in 3 parts with each part matching the title of the film; Everything, Everywhere, All At Once.
It lives up to its title, Everything Everywhere All At Once – it’s a trippy cinematic rush that makes you experience everything everywhere all at once in a swirling rush of insane multiverses, unlimited possibilities, and endless creativity. It’s mind-bendingly bonkers – I mean what sort of mind comes up with the idea of a world where people have hotdogs for fingers?
The concept of the Multiverse has been explored in various productions from Dr Strange to Spiderman, even Ricky and Morty. One would be forgiven for thinking that Marvel has the monopoly on the multiverse – well they do have the budget to sensationalise it. The Everything Everywhere production gives the multiverse a fresh take, different, unexpected.
The premise of the Everything Everywhere All At Once multiverse is rooted in the road not taken, what if… What if, you had done things differently, with each choice branching off and becoming an alternate reality.
Everyone in this production gave it everything they had. Michelle Yeoh as Evelyn Wang held nothing back, showcasing a lot of range in her portrayal of the various multiverse versions of her character.
Ke Huy Quan cast as Waymond Wang also brought a certain stability to everything, the calm centre in the storm.
Jamie Lee Curtis as Deirdre Beaubeirdre was the epitome of a no-nonsense bureaucrat, scary and absolutely unfiltered; I only realized she was in the movie after going through reviews. 😂 She posted on her Instagram that she had sworn off concealers and deceptive garments for the film, opting to let it all hang out.
It should come with a warning for potentially seizure-inducing cinematography.
You have no idea what you are getting yourself into… It starts off slow, feeling like a sappy family drama and then devolves into an amusement park ride exploding with trippy action, as they throw everything and everyone at you…. Its chaotic and can get a bit much.
As with anything that deals with fundamentals as complex as the multiverse – there are a lot of questions that remain unanswered as to how or why things are happening the way they are but hey suspend disbelief and hold on to your universe.
While it has a family theme it’s not quite suitable for the whole family – it has some rather graphic fight sequences and explores themes better suited for a mature audience even if in rather absurd settings.
With everything going on one could almost miss the profound existential message the movie delivers – if everything in life is meaningless inherently everything is equally meaningful.
*Don’t forget to breathe*
It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, does this sound like something you would watch?
PS Fun Fact: Michelle Yeoh‘s role was initially scripted for Jackie Chan and then later re-conceived to have a woman lead. Awkwafina had been cast as Joy Wang but dropped off the project due to scheduling conflicts.