Gotta love films that sneak up on you and really take you by surprise. Not just blockbusters either. I mean movies that really jar you in ways you don’t expect. Like Ti West’s tribute to schlocky horror films, X. Now we have the Daniels’ Everything Everywhere All At Once, which takes the multiverse theme, throws it in a blender, and makes the smoothest damn cinematic cocktail you’ll lay eyes on.
Can it get confusing? A little. Can it get cornball? Yup, there’s one fight scene that leans heavily on this. However, what’s really amazing is how it manages to be grounded and inventive around the same time. What’s more, its game changing performances not only pave the way for Asian cinema, but movies in general. You really need to see it.
Everything Everywhere All At Once Lives Up To Its Name
What the hell is the Multiverse? The movie tries to explain it, tying around a laundromat owner (Michelle Yeoh) who’s feeling all sorts of pressure from the IRS. Her young daughter isn’t helping matters, trying to introduce her new girlfriend. Her husband (Ke Huy Quan) is mulling a divorce. Not to mention her father (James Hong – yep, James Hong!) is being a royal pain in the keester.
Then it starts. We won’t give away too many story details, but things get wild in a hurry, and Yeoh’s character suddenly starts to see the cracks in a multiverse. One in which the local IRS agent (Jamie Lee Curtis, hilarious) becomes incredibly strong. Then there’s another involving hot dog fingers, and it’s something to be seen.
That’s all we’ll say, as we’re going to tread into spoiler territory on just how zany this movie gets. Credit Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (the Daniels!) for creating an experience that’s really well written, hilarious, and zany, jam packed with action and unpredictable moments. Through it all, though, it stays true to the tone of family, really paving the way for some awesome performances.
Short Round, I Mean Ke Huy Quan, Is Back, Y’All
Perhaps the biggest surprise of all with Everything Everywhere All At Once is the return of Ke Huy Quan. Remember Data from The Goonies? How about Short Round from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom? He’s returned in full force here, with a performance on the level of winning an Oscar. His hapless husband is anything but, and he drives the movie forward in ways unparalleled.
Not to sell Michelle Yeoh short. Her performance is dynamic and outstanding, all at once. She really nails each universe she enters, whether it’s a dude that’s a little too good at being a chef (prepare for a good laugh here) or simply flipping around a pizza sign. Her character is beyond complex, but she nails it perfectly. I was grinning ear to ear as rewards started to come around for her impatientness at first.
Then there’s the others. Stephanie Hsu is excellent as Yeoh’s troubled daughte, James Hong is a riot as the somewhat babbling (but crazy focused) father, and Jenny Slate has a field day as an abrupt customer. Jamie Lee Curtis, though, brings it home with her IRS agent, bonkers and delightfully witty at the same time. Plus she plays piano like a champ in a way I never thought possible. (You’ll see.)
Everything For Everyone
OK, I know that Everything Everywhere All At Once might seem overwhelming. The trailer below paints a very confusing picture, trying to give you an idea of what it’s about. I’m here to assure you, however, that it comes together beautifully. It’s meticulously crafted to the point that even the smallest scenes have unbelievably great texture. Not to mention the performances, particularly Huy Quan and Yeoh, along with so many others.
Run, don’t walk, and see this movie. It’s going to blow your feeble little mind like it did mine, and hopefully pave the way for more creative chances at filmmaking to come. I’d love to see where this universe goes next. Even if that means more googly eyes everywhere.
VIBE RATING: 10/10
Looking for more mind-blowing goodness? Play some Mario Kart 7 again!