Film Review – Everything Everywhere All At Once

Everything Everywhere All At Once (MA)

Directed by: Dan Kwan, Daniel Scheinert

Starring: Michelle Yeoh, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ke Huy Quan

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Review by: Julian Wright

Middle aged Chinese-American woman Evelyn Wang’s life is in a bit of turmoil.

Her marriage to Waymond (Ke Huy Quan) is failing, their laundromat business is struggling, their daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu) has just introduced her new girlfriend and they are being audited by Deirdre Beaubeirdra (Jamie Lee Curtis) from the IRS.

At this moment, Evelyn is suddenly thrust into a wild adventure of alternate Evelyns in parallel universes – but the multiverse is under threat and Evelyn must save it.

This highly inventive, gloriously imaginative and wildly entertaining adrenaline shot is a miracle of a film.

First it sets up the modest and humble life of this ordinary family, then once it kicks into gear, it is breathlessly paced as complex exposition is shot out at breakneck speed among the action.

But what grounds this fantasy sci-fi is the incomparable Yeoh.

We always knew she was a stunt legend but after almost 40 years, Yeoh is finally given the opportunity to play a thoughtfully rounded character (and multiples versions of it) that is built on actual emotions.

Not only does she get to showcase her fighting talents, that we always knew were there, but she gets to flex her emotional range and display her comedic chops – and she turns in a career best performance.

You can tell that she is cherishing this opportunity and she absolutely flourishes.

It is also a delight to see Quan back in film after a decades long break and Curtis is frothing her chance to let loose and play in this world – she also shines here.

One of the many beauties of this film is that the Daniels, as the filmmakers are collectively known, have given such unique opportunities to actors who have otherwise been pigeonholed.

Everything Everywhere is high energy and hectic, yet the Daniels have such a firm hold on what they have created – how they manage to maintain their grasp is admirable.

Under all the flashy and inventive camera work, action scenes and storytelling techniques (hot dog fingers!) is some incredibly moving and thought provoking moments. This is not just 130 minutes of action eye candy and buffet of random imagery.

This is a richly satisfying experience and one that demands to be seen again and again.

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