Written By Darren
Rating 4 out of 5
Everything Everywhere All At Once is a truly spectacular theatrical experience that is a mind bending ride full of laughs and heart, even if it does slightly overstay its welcome.
From The Daniels, the writers and directors behind Swiss Army Men comes a bold, original film that is truly one of the first must see cinematic experiences of the year. The film follows Michelle Yeoh’s Evelyn who finds out that she is the key to saving the entire multiverse from a dark power through connecting with other versions of herself across the multiverse. For this film, you want to go in blind. Do not read any reviews, try to avoid any trailers and just trust that this is a film that any cinephile needs to see, because it truly is spectacular! Without spoiling anything, the film’s plot is great! The writing is incredibly smart, making the science fiction elements of the multiverse and multiversal travel very accessible for audiences which is nice as this is a topic where films can get too bogged down in the science and forget that they just need to entertain audiences.
The film does slightly stumble in its second act where it goes a little too far down the rabbit hole with the science fiction ideas at play that had me scratching my head for about five minutes wondering what the heck was happening. But the story quickly course corrects and closes the film with a strong, emotional final act that was easy enough to follow without compromising the ideas and themes being explored in the film. With the deep dive into the science fiction elements of the story in the second act, the film overstays its welcome as you do feel its two hour and twenty minute run time, and the film would have benefited from being about ten minutes shorter to keep the pacing quicker in the second act where it slightly stumbles. To my surprise was the amount of humour in the film, as it was packed from beginning to end with outrageously hilarious moments that had me unexpectedly dying of laughter consistently throughout the film.
This film screams A24 from the second it begins, and I was immediately sucked into this all encompassing experience and have not stopped thinking about it since seeing it. It’s visually beautiful, deep and methodical in the way that it tells a story that is not likely to capture the love of the average movie goer, but for anyone who loves the art form you are in for an absolute treat! The cinematography features lots of long shots allowing the action sequences to be uninterrupted and display the amazing fight choreography, while also featuring some of those beautiful shots that A24 films are known for.
Though it is the performances that were my favourite element of the film. Yeoh is incredible as Evelyn, portraying this aging Chinese woman struggling with conflicting family values and the impending end of the multiverse. I have long been a fan of Yeoh and this is the perfect role for her as it allows her to create an incredible character while tapping into her action abilities. She is stunning at every turn of the film, proving why you can never go wrong when you cast Yeoh. Ke Huy Quan, Short Round from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Data from The Goonies, returns to acting and stars as Yeoh’s husband Waymond. It was an absolute delight to see Quan back in a film again, and even though before last year he had not been in a film since the early 2000s, he has not lost his infectious energy and stellar comedic timing that made him one of the most memorable characters in his previous films. Opposite Yeoh, Quan and her create a truly remarkable husband and wife relationship that goes through a large transformation of the film, which helps create one of the emotional cores of the film.
Jamie Lee Curtis is an absolute scene stealer as Deirde, once again proving why she is one of the best actresses in Hollywood. Even in the prosthetics and makeup to turn her into an IRS auditor, Curtis is phenomenal and you cannot take your eyes off her when she is on screen. Curtis has always made wonderful choices for the roles she takes, and this is unlike you have ever seen her before. Handling one of the more complex roles in the film is Stephanie Hsu as Evelyn’s daughter Joy, and what a great performance. Hsu has the most material to work with, and while Joy is not prominent in the first half of the film, she shines in the second half. Especially opposite Yeoh as they create a truly special mother-daughter relationship on screen. James Hong has some great comedic moments throughout the film, and you can never go wrong with Jenny Slate and Harry Shum Jr. who both have their scene stealing moments in the film that you won’t forget.
I’m very hit or miss with A24, and despite this film being a little too long for my liking, this is without a doubt one of my favourite films from A24! Absolutely wild in the best way imaginable, Everything Everywhere All At Once takes audiences on a mind bending trip full of excitement, action, heart and laughs anchored by the incredible Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huay Quan and Jamie Lee Curtis!