Film Review: “Everything Everywhere All at Once”


“Everything Everywhere All at Once” released on Mar. 11, 2022. After receiving immense praise, the film has thrown its cast and crew into the spotlight. Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan travel the multiverse in a unique and fresh way. Directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert craft a sci-fi must-see classic.

Cassandra Bauer, Film Reviewer

It’s nearly impossible to summarize Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s, or the Daniels, as they call themselves, latest film, but it’s difficult to encapsulate a film where everything is happening everywhere all at once.

“Everything Everywhere All at Once” took the world by storm in March, when seemingly everyone was captivated by this maximalist multiversal mess of a movie. And when I say mess, I mean this as the highest compliment. Every frame of the film is filled with crucial details, the cinematography is beautifully over the top and absurdist creativity is pouring out of every scene, to the point where it is an artful mess.

The film opens on Evelyn Wang, played by the always talented Michelle Yeoh, surrounded by receipts and paperwork with the threat of an audit of her and her husband Waymond’s (Ke Huy Quan) laundry business rapidly approaching. Evelyn is overwhelmed by the pressure of cooking for an upcoming Chinese New Year Party, the possibility of divorce between her and Waymond and her judgmental father meeting her daughter Joy’s (Stephanie Hsu) girlfriend for the first time.

While sorting out her unorganized tax records at the IRS with a slouchy, no nonsense, yet endless funny agent, Deirdre (Jamie Lee Curtis), Evelyn is surprised by a more bold and confident version of her usually timid and kind hearted husband. This “Alpha Waymond” has broken through from another universe to tell Evelyn that she is the only person who is able to save the multiverse from the threat of Jobu Tupaki, an evil and all powerful being existing in all universes.

She is used to struggling though the monotony of doing laundry and paying taxes, but now Evelyn has to tap into the other versions of herself existing across the multiverse to save life as she and every other universe knows it.

Beyond the existential “multiverse of madness” to borrow a title from another multiverse movie of last year, there is a sincere story about generational differences, kindness and the love between a mother and daughter.

The Daniels are never afraid to reach into the sillier side of this kind of story. No idea is too extreme for this writing and directing duo. A universe where Evelyn is a piñata? Perfect. A universe where people are rocks? Great. A universe where everyone has hot dogs for fingers? Genius. In order to “verse jump” in this film you have to do the least expected thing in that moment leading to even wackier ideas like eating Chapstick, switching the shoes on to the opposite feet and some comedic moments with oddly shaped trophies.

Now up for eleven Academy Awards, including a Best Actress nomination for Michelle Yeoh and supporting acting nominations for Ke Huy Quan, Jamie Lee Curtis and Stephanie Hsu.

Michelle Yeoh is clearly a leading star with flawless ranges of emotion and brilliant comedic timing. The film is even referential of Yeoh’s iconic legacy through her films, making nods to “Crazy Rich Asians” (2018), “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (2000) and other Wuxia style films that brought her into stardom. Many predict her to be a shoo-in for the Best Actress award at the Oscars this March.

Ke Huy Quan you will likely recognize from his child acting, playing small roles in classics like “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” (1984) and “The Goonies” (1985). Since then, Quan has had a relatively quiet career, but he burst out of this stretch of silence and delivered likely the best supporting performance of the year. The directors clearly put their trust in Quan as he demonstrates his ability to shift between differing multiverse personas in the moments in time it takes to take off his glasses.

If you somehow have not managed to see this sci-fi epic, stop everything you are doing and see it at once.

Watch “Everything Everywhere All at Once” showing in limited theaters.