Film Review: ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ is a wild ride worth taking

“Donnie Darko.” “Mr. Destiny.” “The Weather Man.” “The One.” Every once in a while, in a random branch of the multiverse, a film hits theaters that captures the imagination and emotions while taking its viewers on a magical ride into alternate existences. “Everything Everywhere All at Once” does just that.

One of the most innovative and brilliant films the last half-decade, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is a wild ride through an infinite amount of multiverses. Nothing like the “Avengers” multiverse, these multiverses include existences where humans have evolved hot dogs for fingers and Ratatouille reigns supreme as a world-class chef. Yes, this film is too complicated to really sum up and spoilers are almost impossible.

Still, this film is one of the most well-rounded yet quirky film I’ve ever experienced. Whether it’s “Being John Malkovich” or “Inception,” asking existential questions about reality is always a draw for me. With “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” it checks all the boxes — humor, sci-fi, martial arts, drama.

The plot follows a Chinese-American woman (Michelle Yeoh, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,”) being audited by the Internal Revenue Service (played by Jamie Lee Curtis, “Halloween” and Yumper’s favorite “Evil Dies Tonight” campaign) who discovers that she must connect with versions of herself from different parallel universes in order to prevent the destruction of them all by a powerful being while taking care of her husband (Ke Huy Quan, “The Goonies”), daughter (Stephanie Ann Hsu, “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”) and elderly father, played by the ageless James Hong (“Big Trouble in Little China,” “The Golden Child”). 

At the direction of Daniels, the filmmaking tandem made up of Daniel “Dan” Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (“Swiss Army Man”), “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is a visually stunning, hilariously funny, family drama about being okay with the here and now. Nobody wants to be the worst version of themselves in the entire multiverse and this film reminds us that happiness is a state of mind more than it is circumstance. Set against the backdrop of the American immigrant story we all know, the point is hammered home while reminding us that everyone is going through their own things so just be nice.

A message we could use today.

“Everything Everywhere All at Once” explores the concepts of the meaning of life and nihilism.  Charles Bramesco of The Guardian wrote: “The bagel of doom and its tightening grip on Evelyn’s Gen Z daughter lend themselves to the climactic declaration that there’s nothing worse than submitting to the nihilism so trendy with the next generation. Our lone hope of recourse is to embrace all the love and beauty surrounding us, if only we’re present enough to see it.”

I can’t count how many times during this movie — whether its the heartfelt scenes between family or a martial arts battle using dildos as nunchucks — I was taken on a roller coaster of emotions. You could sense you were watching something groundbreaking and inventive. Thus far in 2022, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is my No. 1 film of the year. Yeoh and Quan were fantastic in both their acting performances and their martial arts action sequences. This truly is a film worth seeing, and the overwhelming positive reviews indicate this film will be popping up come awards season later this year. 

Even in another multiverse, I would recommend this film. It’s a “you have to see it” experience. It might not be for all, but it sure seems like it fits what so many of us are looking for in a film these days: escapism and a reminder that, while life may occasionally throw us onto the constant wheel of daily doldrums, it’s okay with being okay today — and it is. 

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  1. Pingback: Film Review: Cage, Pascal shine in 'Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent' - The Tainted Glove Network

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