Everything Everywhere All At Once: Movie Review

Everything+Everywhere+All+At+Once%3A+Movie+Review

Anya Yang, Editor-in-Chief

I stepped into Theater 3 of the LOOK Dine-In Cinema on a Friday night, completely unprepared for what would happen to my body within the next two and a half hours. 

Tears and snot came out of my face in the form of uncontrollable hiccups, laughter erupted out of me like I’d never heard a joke before, and my heart felt like it’d been turned inside out in the best way possible– all simply after watching the newest A24 film, Everything Everywhere All At Once.

The movie follows Michelle Yeoh as Evelyn Wang, an unhappy Chinese immigrant dealing with intense financial and familial issues. During a seemingly banal visit to the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) building, her husband from another multiverse jumps in to inform her of her impending mission– to save the world from an evil, all-knowing power known as Jobu Tupaki. 

Evelyn hops from multiverse to multiverse in a Matrix-esque quest to confront Jobu Tepaki, an enemy that takes an achingly familiar form. And as she harnesses the powers of each of her possible lives– an Evelyn that is insanely good at martial arts, one that is an acclaimed blind singer, and even one that has hot dogs for fingers, she comes closer to discovering the root of all her issues.

Everything Everywhere All At Once’s galaxy-jumping sequences present like a frantic fever dream, complete with over-the-top visual effects and hilarious spoofs on movies like A Space Odyssey and Ratatouille. But beyond the shimmery phantasmagoria of flashing lights and animatronic raccoons, this film touches every spot in the heart just right. Complex generational relationships, the importance of kindness, regrets and aspirations, and even the tender distance that grows between a husband and wife– directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert hit these all within the two-hour and nineteen-minute duration of the film.

There are gorgeously complex fight scenes, expertly choreographed by Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ Andy and Brian Le. A melancholy rendition of “Clair de Lune”, composed by up-and-coming experimental band Son Lux, twinkles softly in the background as Evelyn reclaims ownership over her life. And with each new multiverse Evelyn accesses, the audience learns an important lesson alongside her.

“The movie included intersectionality between sexuality, gender, and race, which I really appreciated since there isn’t a ton of representation with all topics combined,” said Arcadia High School senior Tiffany Valmocena.

Critics and viewers alike have mirrored these sentiments, referencing the film’s inclusive topics and predominantly Asian cast. Ke Huy Quan, a Chinese-Vietnamese actor primarily known for his childhood work in Indiana Jones films and The Goonies, made his return to the big screen as Waymond Wang, Evelyn’s soft-hearted husband. In interviews, he explains that “Crazy Rich Asians was the movie that made [him] decide to get back into acting”. And with the continued representation of Asian communities in Hollywood, there’s no doubt that the necessary racial diversity in films will continue to grow. 

Everything Everywhere All At Once is a film bursting at the seams with tear-inducing humor, familiar representations of generational trauma, and maximalist cinematography. I shazamed the soundtrack of the film with each new scene, appreciating all the beautiful songs that highlighted the ebbs and flows of the movie. I howled, laughing along with the rest of the jam-packed theater at some of the funniest bits I’ve seen in an indie film. And I cried, seeing my own mother in the face of Michelle Yeoh’s steadfastly devoted character. 

Take a break from the Marvel Blockbusters and give Everything Everywhere All At Once a shot. It’s a unique little bundle of emotions and over-the-top cinematic effects, but I guarantee that with the confusion comes an overwhelming sense of relatability & deep appreciation for the people in our lives. Plus, hot dog fingers.

 

Phot Courtesy of UNSPLASH