Released: 14th April
Seen: 6th April (Advance Screening)
The concept of the multiverse has been a pretty major part of the cinematic landscape recently, largely thanks to the MCU using it as part of their recent romp through nostalgia. It featured heavily in the still stunning Spider-Man: No Way Home and will be brought up again in the Dr Strange sequel that also uses the word as part of its title, Multiverse of Madness.
It’s a fascinating concept that can have so many uses but if we’re being honest, the MCU is using the multiverse mostly for nostalgia blasts. That’s the multiverse on easy mode… Everything Everywhere All At Once is the multiverse on hard mode and its chock full of glorious batshit insanity combined with absolute pure wonder and I love every single second of it.
Everything Everywhere All At Once starts almost normally, with Chinese-American laundromat owner Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh) trying her best to deal with the difficulties of day to day living. Her lesbian daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu) is trying to get Evelyn to accept her girlfriend Becky (Tallie Medel), her elderly father Gong Gong (James Hong) has come to visit and just be judgmental and her quiet husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quan) is trying to pluck up the courage to as for a divorce… all this while Evelyn still needs to get her taxes to her IRS agent Dierdre (Jaime Lee Curtis). It’s a tough life, almost like every choice Evelyn has made in her entire life has been the wrong one.
On his way to the IRS agency, someone appears out of the strangest possible place to recruit Evelyn to fight against the Jobu Tupaki who threatens the entire multiverse if she isn’t stopped and Evelyn might be the only one who can stop her. What follows is the most hyperactive wild trip through the multiverse that has ever been captured on film, this is the definition of a film that can and will go absolutely anywhere… and it’s the best film of the year.
Everything Everywhere All At Once is that magical kind of film where it has so many chances for something to go wrong but it never slips even a little. It tries so many things, so many wild strange ideas that absolutely should not work and every single one of them somehow works. You shouldn’t be able to have scenes where everyone just has sausages for fingers and have it be a genuinely sweet emotional moment, but Everything Everywhere All At Once does it like it’s the easiest thing on the planet.
You shouldn’t be able to have a main character pick up two giant dildos and have a full-on Kung Fu wire battle with them that’s somehow one of the most badass things to ever be put on screen, Everything Everywhere All At Once did that and it grinned like a fucking asshole the entire time because it knew it was getting away with shit that any other film would never be able to do.
To call Everything Everywhere All At Once brilliant would be to understate its intelligence, this is a film that pushes the form to its limit and then goes “Come on, we can go further than that” and then it does. It breaks the rules of film, of character, of story and of structure and does it all knowingly and in a way that you can’t help but respect it.
Everything Everywhere All At Once can have you cackling one minute, emotionally broken the next and then somehow have you emotionally broken while you’re cackling and also a little bit scared because it chooses to have you feel that way. It wants you to go through the gamut of emotions, to break your brain. It counts as a drug trip at times and every single second of it just works.
Everyone involved in making Everything Everywhere All At Once brought everything they had and then some. This is the kind of film where you look at it and you know that the set designers are the best in the business, the cinematographer is a modern-day Michelangelo, the boom mike operator didn’t even wobble a little and the directors are absolute madmen who made it all come together.
Throw on top of that career-best performances by literally every cast member, especially Michelle Yeoh who we had better be talking about when the next Award season comes around or there will be hell to pay. Seriously, it’s not like Michelle Yeoh needs something to showcase every one of her talents but if she ever decides she wants one, she can throw this film on because this shows she can do literally everything.
By the way, this film is so damn good that it also contains the strobe lights that I hate so much. On this blog, a strobe light is almost instantly a death sentence for a film that has taken films down in my estimation so hard that I actively will say “Even if it’s good, skip this”… and Everything Everywhere All At Once is so good that even with strobes as part of it, it’s still perfect.
I don’t know how it does it, how can a film pull this off? This shouldn’t be possible, this film should not be possible but it’s real and it’s here… hell, I haven’t even gotten to talk about the scene where people have a full-on wire fight over who gets to shove a buttplug up their ass and we’re about to wrap this up, that’s how shocked I am.
Everything Everywhere All At Once is perfect. It’s a perfect movie, there is not a single solitary thing about this movie that could or should ever be changed. Obviously, everyone is different and everyone enjoys different pieces of media in different ways and that’s fine… except in the case of Everything Everywhere All At Once, if you don’t like this film then the problem is you and you should probably go see someone about that.
Everything Everywhere All At Once is an absolute emotional joyride that’ll take you from sobbing to laughing to feeling disgusted at how hard you are laughing and sobbing at the same time all while throwing out so many gloriously wild images that you will find it hard to describe them to anyone without having to add “I swear it makes sense in context”.
Everything Everywhere All At Once… it quite literally does everything, everywhere, all at once and god damn it I don’t think I will ever understand how the hell it pulled that off.