The Stream: There’s so much going on multiple viewings may be required.
The Big Screen: Cool concept expertly executed.
The Final Bill: Two words: Must see!– Trip Fontaine
Director: Dan Kwan & Daniel Scheinert, collectively known as Daniels
Writers: Dan Kwan & Daniel Scheinert, collectively known as Daniels
Stars: Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, Jamie Lee Curtis
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Rating: R for some violence, sexual material and language
Runtime: 2 hours 13 minutes
Production Companies: AGBO, Hotdog Hands, Ley Line Entertainment, Year of the Rat – A24
Platform: In theaters
Trailers: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Bullet Train, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Nope, Men, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore
What’s up, Streamers? Do you hear that buzz? It’s the deafening sound of the chatter around the new movie, Everything Everywhere All at Once. It seems rare that a film is released with an original premise not tethered to some existing IP or franchise. These are precious commodities, and Everything Everywhere All at Once advertises itself as one of those special gems. Here’s how it went for me.
I’m not going to hide the ball on this one. Everything Everywhere All at Once is just what the doctor prescribed. There usually is a lack of interesting fare in theaters around this time of year, but this movie is a bright spot in these dim times. Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, collectively known as DANIELS, wrote and directed this high concept film that follows Evelyn, a Chinese immigrant, who owns a laundromat with her husband, Waymond, as she confronts her life choices while being audited by the IRS for incorrectly filing her taxes. The movie takes very trippy twists and turns involving different versions of Evelyn as she morphs through the multiverse and attempts to save the world and hold her family together. Kung fu hijinks ensue.
There are so many good aspects of Everything Everywhere All at Once. First, Michelle Yeoh plays Evelyn, and she nails every incarnation of this character. She’s a harried business owner, a bored wife, a domineering mother, and an exhausted daughter. She’s also a kung fu specialist, a romantic lead, an aspiring singer and so much more. Each character trait is specifically rendered by Yeoh as this movie puts all of the things we love about Yeoh as an actress in one role. Also, there’s the return of Ke Huy Quan, who you may know as Short Round from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom or Data from The Goonies, as Waymond, the lovable and supportive husband who is also at his wit’s end. Quan is a great foil for Yeoh. They have wonderful chemistry and a fun interplay throughout the film. The entire ensemble is really great, which also includes an entertaining performance by Jamie Lee Curtis as the villainess IRS auditor, Dierdre. Great cast up and down the line!
While the cast is great, they may not be enough to justify a movie if the concept and its execution aren’t great as well. That’s not a problem here. DANIELS have come up with a narrow and specific, almost mundane, part of Evelyn’s life – her business’ audit – and they have expanded it to encompass questions about existence, family, love and choices. It really is remarkable how the writer/directors have infused this story with so much originality and yet it feels very grounded despite multiple realities. It’s also very funny. It has great action that’s well-choreographed to add tension and intrigue. Finally, there is a deeply touching, human story at the center of all the chaos that surrounds Evelyn and the film. Try not to get emotionally invested! I dare you! There’s so much going on throughout the movie that you may need to see it twice.
Yes, Everything Everywhere All at Once is finally a movie that executes its original premise in an exciting and interesting way. On top of that, this high concept film packs an emotional punch as well. There really is everything you might want from a thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying film going experience. Go see this movie as soon as it’s available in your area. Get a big box of popcorn, too!