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"Everything Everywhere All at Once" (2022) Movie Review

Maggie is a student who grew up watching movies and TV shows. They have seen hundreds of movies and write reviews in their free time.

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Rating

R

Genre

Sci-Fi, Comedy, Adventure

Directors

Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert

Release Date

April 8, 2022

Distributor

A24

Overview

Prior to seeing Everything Everywhere All At Once, I knew next to nothing about it. I saw the trailer, but it didn't prepare me for the sheer chaos that I saw watching the film. The plot follows an older Chinese immigrant faced with a divorce, an IRS audit, and an all-knowing being of the omniverse. Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh) learns to harness newfound inter-dimensional powers to defeat the omniversal being, Jobu Tupaki (Stephanie Hsu). The film is full of twists and surprises and that unpredictability might be its best feature.

L-R: Stephanie Hsu, Michelle Yeoh & Ke Huy Quan in "Everything Everywhere All at Once"

L-R: Stephanie Hsu, Michelle Yeoh & Ke Huy Quan in "Everything Everywhere All at Once"

"Pure movie magic."

— Perri Nemiroff (YouTube)

Trailer Teases, Doesn't Spoil

When I first saw the trailer for Everything Everywhere All at Once, it seemed interesting, but I thought it would be generic Hollywood sci-fi. Despite this, the advertising was successful in grabbing my attention and made me wonder what the movie was.

In so many movie trailers, the plot of the movie is spoiled. I was glad that the advertising I had seen was interesting and gave me an idea of what the movie was, but didn't give away the entire plot.

The chaotic visuals and a hint at the plot's complexity were enough to be intrigued and I just wanted to know more. In that sense, the advertising was a success.

Everything Everywhere All At Once (Official Trailer)

My Review

There are spoilers!

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Everything Everywhere completely caught me off guard. The complete unpredictability of everything in the movie was amazing. As someone who doesn't usually like Sci-Fi movies, I partially expected to be bored and tired watching the movie but the second the movie started, I knew that wouldn't be the case. Right from the first scene, I was noticing little details like the camera shot moving through the round mirror. My favorite thing to do when watching movies is point out the small details and take note of the foreshadowing and motifs. The motif of round objects, leading up to the Everything Bagel was one of the first things I noticed. Having these details is something I appreciate in movies like this.

I was very impressed with the unpredictable nature of the movie. The story of the mother-daughter relationship as well as the story of the multiverse have been told a multitude of times but the Daniels did an amazing job of reworking these stories into something new and unique. I find predictable movies to be boring and hard to watch but I was pleased to find that Everything Everywhere All at Once was the complete opposite. There was not a single point in the movie where I knew what would happen next. This aspect of the movie kept me interested and kept my attention through the whole movie.

Michelle Yeoh and Jamie Lee Curtis join forces in "Everything Everywhere All at Once"

Michelle Yeoh and Jamie Lee Curtis join forces in "Everything Everywhere All at Once"

To some viewers, the confusing and chaotic nature of the movie could be a reason not to watch. Especially at the beginning of the movie, I didn't understand what was going on and was easily lost trying to keep up with the fast pace. I believe this confusion was crucial to creating an effective story. Daniels perfectly made it so the viewer was put in the same place as Evelyn. When Evelyn was first introduced to Alpha Waymond (Ke Huy Quan) and had to learn how to verse-jump I felt as confused as Evelyn was. This really added to the relatability of the characters and understanding how the main character felt in the first half of the movie truly made it fun and interesting to watch.

The confusion and chaos also made the movie much more palatable. With all the details and logic that came with Evelyn's newfound powers, it was much easier to understand with the details unfolding and being able to learn about it all along with Evelyn. So many Sci-Fi movies are so full of explanations and unnecessary details, it inevitably ruins the film by being overwhelming for the viewer. Daniels did an amazing job of keeping the over explanations to a minimum while keeping a good amount of logic and understandable concepts.

L-R: Ke Huy Quan, Michelle Yeoh, and legendary character actor, James Hong

L-R: Ke Huy Quan, Michelle Yeoh, and legendary character actor, James Hong

Through all the action and chaos of the multiverse, at the heart of the movie, there are Evelyn's real-life struggles. Not only does Evelyn have to figure out a way to defeat Jobu Tupaki, but she also has to face Waymond wanting a divorce and navigate her rocky (a pun for people who have seen the movie) relationship with her daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu) who we later figure out is (technically) Jobu Tupaki. Each of the characters is so complex and you can tell that each one has their own struggles. Even with the more minor characters like Deirdre (Jamie Lee Curtis), there's a deeper relatability. I think each character's personality and struggles could resonate with so many people. To me, Evelyn being unable to accept her daughter's sexuality is an important factor in understanding the complexity of mother-daughter relationships. It also furthered the main idea of the film being that the little things in life are important and each person has a bigger impact on the world than they think.

Lastly, the comedic elements of this film were perfect. As someone who doesn't usually laugh much at movies and TV, I was surprised to find myself laughing along with everyone in the theater throughout the movie. All the jokes were well-timed and fit perfectly in the story and each scene. My favorite of the jokes was "Raccoonouille" since the directors took the joke and carried it on so well through the film.

Raccoonouille

Raccoonouille

Conclusion

Overall, I really loved the movie. It had the perfect blend of comedy, action, and chaos while upholding the deeper plot of the mother-daughter relationship. I admire Daniels' ability to keep the film structured while including the unpredictable chaos throughout the movie. Everything Everywhere All at Once was definitely one of the best movies I've ever seen. I 100% recommend it to everyone and I think I'll go see it again.

© 2022 Maggie Givens

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