Friday, July 22, 2022

Everything Everywhere All at Once

From Jet Li's The One to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, movies have enjoyed playing with the ideas of multiple realities and the differences of one character across a multiverse of possibilities. Everything Everywhere All at Once offers a new spin to the concept with the various versions of a character flowing through them, giving them specific skills their other selves have acquired, and offering glimpses to how their own lives may have turned out differently.

Michelle Yeoh stars as despondent laundromat owner Evelyn Wang, who, we are told, is the least interesting version of Evelyn across any reality. However, if reality is to be saved, it is this Evelyn who will need to step-up when not dealing with being audited by the IRS and various family drama including one version of her husband (Ke Huy Quan) springing a divorce while another introduces her to the absurdities of the multiverse.

The film from The Daniels is an often bizarre tale involving a version of Evelyn's daughter (Stephanie Hsu) who has become unhinged by her contact with multiple realities and has created a destructive force with the ability to end all of reality, and may or may not also be good with cream cheese. From the bleak realities of life unfulfilled, not to mention a black hole of death, to the slapstick humor, the film earns its title by offering everything, all at once, in all that entails including the highs and inevitable excess of such structure.

While not all of the various realities Evelyn experiences work for me (I could have done with far less hot-dog-fingers reality which enjoyed less with every additional scene, although I would have gladly sat through more of the Rocks or the Raccacoonie realities), Everything Everywhere All at Once is certainly never boring mixing various themes and tones while building to an emotional catharsis for more than one member of Evelyn's dysfunctional family. I would guess my opinion of the film would change after multiple viewings, but there's so much here I can't say whether my appreciation for this unusual story would grow or diminish as either seem likely possibilities. It may not be everything, but as a movie experience it's one of the more unusual you are likely to find.

Watch the trailer
  • Title: Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • IMDb: link

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