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Everything, Everywhere All at Once

This refreshingly original film is a fascinating if slightly overwhelming watch

In a twist of fate, the box office these past few weeks has been peopled with such films as The Northman (2022), The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2022), The Lost City (2022), Ambulance (2022), and Everything, Everywhere All at Once (2022), all ambitious films from completely original ideas. No former IP, sequel, reboot, or the like. Hopefully audiences will go out to support these films to demonstrate to studios that original and adapted fare can coexist within the same space.

Everything, Everywhere All at Once is the story about laundromat owner Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh) who while trying to tidy up her taxes at the IRS, gets vaulted into an adventure across multiple realities and versions of herself with the fate of the multiverse at stake.

Everything, Everywhere All at Once is directed by the duo Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert who like to call themselves the Daniels. Their previous film was the curious and unique Swiss Army Man (2016), which found Paul Dano interacting with a corpse played by Daniel Radcliffe. Everything, Everywhere All at Once follows a similar peculiar and bonkers vein, where the weirdest plot choice is always taken. This is incredibly refreshing in a world of very safe and cookie-cutter blockbusters. As such, Everything, Everywhere All at Once is to be lauded not only for its bold and original filmmaking, but for proving to be an unpredictable and wild narrative as well.

As with Swiss Army Man, the Daniels add a certain restlessness and hyper-activity to their filmmaking that leaves viewers feeling exhausted from staring at the screen. This helps keep a frenetic pace throughout the film, so that you’re assured to never be bored, but it also robs the emotional moments of room to breathe and land powerfully on viewers, almost as if the Daniels were afraid, you would not buy their narrative if they weren’t serving up jokes, colors, and sounds throughout. With slightly more confidence in their core story, and a tightened edit both bonkers and emotional depth arcs could fit nicely. Thankfully, this jittery approach doesn’t dilute the underlying message in Everything, Everywhere All at Once, of learning to appreciate the quotidian things in life, but it does bickeringly assault the viewer relentlessly.

The Daniels have the fantastic Michelle Yeoh in their lead, and Everything, Everywhere All at Once is worth the watch just to see Yeoh finally tackle a role different to her usual stoic-action badasses (not to say there’s no appearance of that here). Yeoh adds a certain stability as the audience surrogate, which helps both slow down the character beats as well as provide clarity for her character arc. The character of Evelyn is not a very likeable one on paper, but Yeoh embraces those flaws and bares them as a sign of beautiful imperfection instead. The supporting cast is likewise strong in relation to Yeoh, with Ke Huy Quan making a long-awaited return to acting, and Jamie Lee Curtis having the time of her life.

Everything, Everywhere All at Once is a frenetic and unique viewing experience with a creative core story, some strong performances, and an unrelenting directing duo. The blitz on screen can be quite overwhelming at times, reminding viewers of an unhinged Baz Luhrman, but with enough stamina Everything, Everywhere All at Once is a refreshing and fun times at the movies.



About Young Critic

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I've been writing on different version of this website since February of 2013. I originally founded the website in a film-buff phase in high school, but it has since continued through college and into my adult life. Young Critic may be getting older, but the love and passion for film is forever young. 

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