Everything Everywhere All at Once

  • 02 Apr - 08 Apr, 2022
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Reviews

Everything Everywhere All At Once is as overwhelming as its title suggests. The new feature from the directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheiner, is an intentionally overstuffed trip through the multiverse where Michelle Yeoh plays multiple versions of Evelyn Wang in a tour-de-force performance that uses all of the tools in her considerable arsenal.

When the movie opens, Evelyn is an exhausted wife and mother who runs a laundromat. The first act is an anxious swirl of paperwork and panic. Evelyn ignores the pleas of her kind husband, Waymond (Ke Huy Quan), and the wishes of her daughter, Joy (Stephanie Hsu). Yeoh's weariness is apparent on her face as Evelyn scurries around her domain. In an effort to keep everything under control, she invariably disappoints all of the people closest to her. Waymond is trying to serve her divorce papers; Joy cries in her car.

But then, in the elevator on the way to meet with a surly auditor (Jamie Lee Curtis) Waymond transforms. Suddenly, the meek Waymond Evelyn knows snaps into focus, gives her an earpiece, and introduces her to the concept of the multiverse. This is a Waymond from a different version of reality who has been traversing time and space to find this Evelyn, the only Evelyn that can save the world from an evil force who goes by the name Jobu Tobacky. To fight off Jobu and her acolytes, Evelyn must "verse-jump" by doing something bizarre to take on the powers of other Evelyns. When Evelyn assumes the skills of her many selves, she also gets a glimpse of what their lives might have been like, ones where she didn't have the specific trials of being a working class immigrant in the United States. At the same time, she must decide how much of her actual life she wants to protect. Does it all mean nothing? Or everything?

At nearly two and a half hours long, Everything Everywhere All at Once can occasionally feel relentless, but the directors do pause for the emotional beats that give the chaos weight. The noise is part of the experience, but the sheer creativity is the reward.

– Compilation