It’s been a couple of months since I last sat down to write out a review for a film. Despite all the great films and shows that have come since my last review, I haven’t really had the motivation to share my thoughts on them. Then I went to the IMAX Fan Screening of Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s (directing duo known as Daniels) newest film Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022). This film is a trip, and may be the most fun I have ever had in a theater.
Evelyn Wang (played by Michelle Yeoh) runs a struggling laundromat, has a awkward marriage with her husband, Waymond (played by Ke Huy Quan), and has a deteriorating relationship with her daughter, Joy (played by Stephanie Hsu). During a poor meeting with IRS agent Deirdre Beaubeirdra (played by Jamie Lee Curtis), Evelyn is approached by a multiversal version of her husband asking for her help to save the multiverse. To prevent the destruction of universes, Evelyn must connect to the lives that she could’ve led.
I went into Everything Everywhere All at Once with high expectations—other than Lamb (2021) I haven’t seen an A24 film that I didn’t enjoy—but I did not expect to walk out of this film contemplating my Top 10 of all-time list. This movie is unadulterated fun and completely bonkers. The direction and script by Daniels is incredible and delivers a kaleidoscope of visionary inventiveness. While it is an overused phrase, I can confidently say, I have never seen anything like this film. However, even with all the absurdist spectacle, Daniels keeps the intimacy of family at its heart.
The cast of this film is incredible. Michelle Yeoh continues to be a powerhouse in both emotion and physicality and this movie has all of her talent on display. That said, it’s the supporting cast that makes this movie sing. Ke Huy Quan, Stephanie Hsu, and Jamie Lee Curtis are all charismatic and bring so much fun and heart to their scenes, no matter which version of themselves they are playing. James Hong, Jenny Slate, and Harry Shum Jr. also play extremely entertaining roles (for as little as they were on) and their alternate versions were all incredible gags throughout the film. It would be impossible to list all of the other recurring characters that were incredibly fun, but the overall ensemble of stunt and martial artists that the casting director, Sarah Finn, was able to assemble was top notch.
Being an A24 distributed film, obviously the film was made on a small budget, but the small budget rarely shows. The music in the film was incredible and the stunt work was immaculate. However, the major awe-inspiring work was the visual effects. Watching the film, it looks like most other Hollywood produced movies in terms of visuals. Then you learn that all of the VFX in the film were done by only SEVEN people (Zak Stoltz, Ethan Feldbau, Ben Brewer, Jeff Desom, Evan Halleck, Kirsten Lepore, and Matthew Wauhkonen). All of the technical departments on this film were great, but I specifically wanted to shoutout the incredible work of this small team.
From the incredible martial arts action and stunt work to the bonkers, yet intimate story, Everything Everywhere All at Once is a phenomenal film that made for the most entertaining time I may have ever had in a theater. Once the film opens wide in the States this weekend (April 8th), I highly recommend everyone go out to see and support this masterpiece. I know that I plan on seeing it at least four more times.
Everything Everywhere All at Once is rated R for some violence, sexual material and language.