From the makers of Swiss Army Man comes this wild and wacky adventure that has it all and welcomes back an 80’s icon in his first film in two decades.
Evelyn Wang is a laundromat owner who has been going through some major issues. She is in danger of being audited due to some personal expenses among the business. She is also in the process of wanting to divorce her husband, the waifish Waymond. Their daughter Joy is in a relationship with Becky and yet, Evelyn feels the need to have to hide it from her father Gong Gong. When they meet with tax auditor Deidre Beaubeirdre, Waymond tells Evelyn a shocking truth that he is not the husband he seems to be.
Evelyn learns she is part of a multiverse and using a earpod and various items, she can traverse through different universes where she finds herself in various situations. From being a movie star to being a kung fu expert, Evelyn soon finds herself in danger with traversing the multiverse. An evil presence known as the Jobu Tupaki has been targeting Evelyn and the force is revealed to be inside a version of Joy. Will Evelyn be able to make everything right again or will she end up being destroyed by the Jobu Tupaki?
From Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, the duo who brought you the “farting zombie” film Swiss Army Man, comes this riveting wild and wacky adventure that bring everything but the kitchen sink. And with a runtime of 140 minutes, this is one ride I will gladly enjoy over and over again. There are rarely any dull moments in the film as this is one of the best movies involving a “multiverse”. And there have been plenty of multiverse films especially with last year’s eponymous film from Canada as well as some of the recent Marvel Studios fare.
The film definitely has perfect casting and who better to lead it than Michelle Yeoh. Yeoh, a legend in the action genre, gets to showcase an array of emotions in her central role of Evelyn, a nearly down on her luck woman. She is introduced as a wife and mother who is trying to keep it all together, while pretty much being estranged from her husband and daughter. It is once she goes on her adventures that she finds herself realizing what she is nearly in danger of losing and will go to any lengths to make things right.
The film is a welcome back for Ke Huy Quan, who appears in his first film in two decades (his last film appearance was 2002’s Second Time Around, a Hong Kong time travel film). Here, he gets to showcase his emotions and action set in the role of Waymond, Evelyn’s husband. Stephanie Hsu also has a very important role as Joy, Waymond and Evelyn’s daughter who is in a lesbian relationship with Becky, played by Tallie Medel. While an alternate Waymond becomes the trigger for Evelyn’s adventure, Hsu’s alternate Joy is a vital character as she is somewhat an evil force known as the Jobu Topaki, who had created an everything bagel to destroy herself with Evelyn being the only one who can try to convince her otherwise.
If there is anyone who deserves to be the comic relief of the film, it goes to not one, but two characters. One is James Hong’s Gong Gong, who is in our world Evelyn’s long-suffering father and in alpha universe form, a maniacal leader of a gang of warriors who must attempt to not only stop the Jobu Topaki, but Evelyn as well as they know our world’s Evelyn will be the only one possible to be able to get through to her. The other comic relief? Jamie Lee Curtis’ Deidre, a no-nonsense IRS tax auditor who tends to want to get the best of Evelyn. Her alternate mode is a force to be reckoned with as she come off as someone coming in “beast mode”.
Which brings us to the frenetic sporadic fight scenes, which are a major highlight of the film. Choreographed by Andy and Brian Le, two-thirds of the WorldFilmGeek Hall of Famers Martial Club, they pull off a combination of Jackie Chan-style environmental style and their trademark brand of tricking and Hong Kong fight choreography. In one amazing fight scene, both Le brothers, playing two members of Alpha Gong Gong’s crew, take on Yeoh while having ummm some objects in their keisters. Ke Huy Quan even has a nice fight scene inspired by wushu, where he uses a fanny pack as a weapon in the way Jet Li would use a rope dart in Shaolin Temple.
Everything Everywhere All at Once is one of the best films of the year and one of the best films to involve a “multiverse”. Perfect casting, some wild and wackiness, and some great fight scenes make this a very enjoyable ride you will want to ride over…and over…and over again.
WFG RATING: A+
Lionsgate presents an A24 Films production in association with IAC Films, Gozie AGBO, Year of the Rat, and Ley Line Entertainment. Directors: Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. Producers: Joe Russo, Anthony Russo, Mike Larocca, Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert, Jonathan Wang, and Siavash Mirznei. Writers: Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. Cinematography: Larkin Seiple. Editing: Paul Rogers.
Cast: Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, Jenny Slate, Harry Shum Jr., James Hong, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tallie Medel, Andy Le, Brian Le.