Everything Everywhere All At Once Movie Review
Everything Everywhere All At Once Movie Review Metadata
Do you ever get so psyched to see a film that you accidentally create astronomical bars for the filmmakers to clear? This website is named Movie Reelist because we’ve made it our point not to do exactly the above. But that’s hard after a 3-year COVID-induced hiatus of the SXSW Conference and Festivals. Difficult when it’s the Opening Night film. Michelle Yeoh…OMG?! Impossible when it’s the Daniels’ latest film: Everything Everywhere All At Once.
The film stars Michelle Yeoh in her first top-billing role – which is pure madness, BTW. Yeoh is Evelyn Wang, a Chinese immigrant woman struggling to run her Cali laundromat business and finish her taxes. She’s distracted and disconnected. Her husband, Waymond (Ke Huy Quan), wants out of the marriage. Her father, Gong Gong, played by the legendary James Hong, feels she squandered her potential. And her daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu) is experiencing an existential crisis, pleading with her mother for support.
The film kicks off when the family faces off against an IRS auditor, a part fantastically portrayed by Jamie Lee Curtis. The meeting is a disaster but otherwise a distraction for Waymond, who begins to act strange. His doppelganger from a parallel universe is taking over his body to recruit Evelyn to stop an evil plot designed to destroy everything, everywhere. Waymond, from the Alpha universe, has determined Evelyn (in this universe) is the only version of herself who can defeat this great evil. Evelyn is thrust into the conflict and learns she can tap into alternate versions of herself to fight. The problem is that that great evil is her daughter.
If there’s one thing Everything Everywhere All At Once gets absolutely right, it’s its namesake. There’s so much happening it can be easy to miss the morsels of greatness Daniels’ have left for viewers. This film will require multiple viewings; however, in the film’s second half, I could feel my attention waning. The fun is in the absurdity, and that fun eventually disappears to give way for the filmmakers to make sense of their story. I don’t know how that plays for general audiences, but it certainly hit the spot for a ravenous SXSW crowd.