“Everything Everywhere All At Once” is a one-of-a-kind science-fiction comedy-drama film written and directed by Daniel Kawn and Daniel Scheinert. It was released nationwide back in April of 2022 and has since received widespread acclaim from both movie critics and general audiences for its unique storytelling, mind-blowing visuals and captivating characters.
The film stars Michelle Yeoh as well as Ke Huy Quan and Stephanie Hsu. Yeoh portrays the main character Evelyn Wang, a Chinese-American immigrant struggling with her personal family relationships on top of managing a laundry business and unpaid taxes.
One day while planning to meet with an IRS inspector, Evelyn’s husband Waymond Wang is seemingly taken over by Alpha Waymond, an alternate universe version of himself. Alpha Waymond informs Evelyn that he is from the Alphaverse. He explains that in his alternative universe, verse-jumping allows individuals to access various skills and abilities. Alpha Waymond gives this technique to Evelyn and requests her help in taking down Jobu Tupaki, an individual on a possible path to end their shared multiverse.
Even with the complex plot and over-the-top visuals the film is easy to follow. Each scene is perfectly paced and filled with many details to seek out or easily pick up on a rewatch. In an opening scene the camera pans to focus on a worker performing an outside job. This scene will re-enter the storyline when Tupaki’s minions are chasing after Evelyn. While verse-jumping from a separate multiverse, she taps into that same outside job which allows her to utilize those skills to fight back.
The action in this movie is absolutely stellar. Every fight scene is widely creative and flawlessly choreographed. The film uses its concept of tapping into alternate timelines to near-limitless potential and each action set piece is more exciting than the last.
Each scene would not be as exciting if it didn’t have strong and well-developed characters, but this movie delivers that in spades. Not only does Quan give a fantastic performance as Waymond Wang, but his character is extremely likable as well. His idea of using positivity as a weapon ties into one of the many themes of the story, in particular nihilism and how to live one’s life.
Waymond’s unyielding optimism and kindness are purposefully contrasted with Joy Wang’s worldview. Played by Stephanie Hsu, Joy is the daughter of Evelyn and Waymond, and despite her namesake, she is very much a nihilistic individual. The film uses the metaphoric black hole, referred to as the bagel of doom to describe Joy and Evelyn’s downward descent into pessimism. The absurd visuals of each scene help to reinforce the main theme of the story and the straining relationship between Evelyn and Joy as the film progresses.
The film is baked and layered in absurd visuals and set pieces that is mostly a mix of 1980s flair and modern graphic styles. During production, the visual effects team worked together through meetings on Zoom. The team consisted of only five people.
Throughout the film it never once becomes impossible to grasp what is going on beneath it all. The dialogue of each scene flows effortlessly even during the film’s most chaotic scenes.
“Everything Everywhere All At Once” is the must-see movie of 2022 and a film that can be easily recommended to not only movie lovers, but general audiences as well. With the film grossing over $100 million at the box office, it made history as the first A24-produced film to earn money at the nine-figures mark. Kawn and Scheniert should definitely be on the radar for their next cinema spectacle.