Following the theatrical release of “Everything Everywhere All at Once” nearly a month ago, the A24 film has nearly surpassed an impressive $23M.
It’s unsurprising that audiences have taken to this multiverse jumping tale. I found myself bursting out laughing several times at the movie’s most asinine scenes, and somehow also tearing up and truly feeling empathy for the characters in the end.
There’s a near perfect balance executed by writers/directors Daniel Kawn and Daniel Scheinert between taking the film seriously and knowing when to pull back a bit because they’re simply running a gag.
The story involves main character Evelyn Quan-Wang (Michelle Yeoh) jumping universes and connecting with the various lived she’s lived in each one to stop an impending interdimensional rupture.
Evelyn is not your typical hero. She’s an aging, soon-to-be divorced Chinese immigrant and laundromat owner, who she says is worst version of herself throughout the multiverse, and yet she’s someone you want to root for.
I would argue that her existence proves that you don’t need to be a muscular superhero to retain attention, nor does multiverse jumping have to be limited to the MCU or DC films. In fact, I’d also go as far as to say that “Everything Everywhere All at Once” does it better than “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”
The premise alone is fascinating, sounding a bit like something that could happen on “Rick and Morty.” It’s clear this movie is something special and insanely creative. Still, there are elements of uniqueness here which prove you can’t truly say that this film reminds you of anything you’ve ever seen before; it’s a blend of sci-fi, comedy, action, an immigration story, a love story and a timeless tale that heralds the importance of a mother-daughter relationship.
There’s a lesson of perspective and reconciliation that pulls at the heartstrings and feels satisfying for the characters’ growth over the course of the story.
From scenes where the characters are literal rocks in a world where life never formed and the audience is relying on subtitles, one where Evelyn is a Hibachi chef and her co-worker has a racoon controlling his movements, akin to “Ratatouille” and another where everyone has hot dogs for fingers (honestly, truly horrifying) it’s all just so immaculately bizarre. It truly felt that I was on some sort of weird hallucinogenic adventure.
Perhaps my biggest qualm with the film overall was that you feel the 140 minute runtime. I’d see certain scenes again but I doubt that I would want to watch this movie again start to finish. At certain points, the movie feels like it should be over soon and then they simply keep going.
My second grievance is the R rating, though it felt necessary for a few of the jokes they run. This film balances the tightrope of what is funny and what is just uncomfortable to watch, but in the end, there were only two moments I was not feeling the gag, and I could still appreciate what the screenwriters were trying.
The performances were wholly convincing and I enjoyed seeing casual Chinese representation in a way that didn’t feel obligatory or unnatural. I especially loved Key Huy Quan as Evelyn’s husband, Waymond Wang, for his ability to portray many personalities seamlessly and convincingly. From the mild-mannered and doting husband to an interdimensional hero, I could not get enough of him and will likely be following his career in the future.
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” is available to watch in theaters now.