Perhaps the strangest thing about him Everything everywhere at oncea film in which a prominent plot point includes praise for it 2001: space flight To explain an alternative fact where humans developed sausage for fingers, is that sometimes no I feel this strange. Directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, the film is set at the intersection of a frenetic music video marathon, slapstick martial arts comedy, and surreal fantasy drama. But it’s grounded in a serious family drama that has elevated a string of great performances, notably from central star Michelle Yeoh.
There is a lot going on Everything is everywhere, but the basic gist is straightforward. Evelyn Wang (Yoh) is a failed laundry owner and a messy, unsatisfying life. Veteran husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quan) appears to have served her with divorce papers, her father’s (James Hong) constantly demanding health fails, and her daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu) is frustrated by Evelyn’s excerpt being rejected. A ruthless IRS worker named Deirdre Beaubeirdra (Jamie Lee Curtis) audits her, among countless other shady decisions, alleging a karaoke machine as a tax expense.
Then, as Evelyn makes one last attempt to save her work, Waymond’s body is suddenly possessed by a peer from a near-infinite alternate reality. Tell her that she’s the only one who can save the multiverse from the danger of destroying reality. She still has to pay her taxes.
As alt-Waymond acknowledges, the subtle mechanics of the multiverse are complex and don’t always make sense. Verse jumpers can use earphones to rotate the bodies of their alternate selves, and they can outsmart their counterparts in other worlds by performing pivoting movements that set their lives on different paths. (For unexplained reasons, most of these tasks are painful or daunting, such as getting cuts out of paper or eating dough.) The process opens a slight psychological bond between peers, and for hair-jumpers who push themselves too far, absorbing this endless range of possibilities can lead into a devastating existential crisis.
The setting provides Kwan and Scheinert with an opportunity to pin between a set of mini-stories and a truly staggering number of colorful costume changes, and it justifies a series of bizarre martial arts sequences that primarily run on dream logic. Everything is everywhere The fight scenes are much more entertaining, creative, and better filmed than those found in many full action movies, including Cinematic perks too Obviously it depends on. (It’s more fun than just about anything in the Marvel movies made by the Russo brothers, who worked as producers here.)
Yeoh’s main self is a completely disoriented woman who can suddenly perform incredible acrobatic feats that are smoothed out by goofy physical comedy, while her other characters display their easy-going charisma. Quan seamlessly navigates between his own unhappy universe’s primary self and his overly competent alter ego, with both tone and body language fluctuating in split-second transitions. Even Curtis, presented as an evil bureaucrat, gets a dangerous role in one of her many characters.
Everything is everywhere It is full of intricate links and Chekhov’s guns that hold together more on an aesthetic than a narrative level. It iterates constantly to create vignettes spanning the multiverse from the small details earlier in the film, including jokes that range from mild to somewhat pristine. (This is the time to mention that Kwan and Scheinert also directed swiss army mana movie that starred Daniel Radcliffe as a swollen corpse.) Some of these flashbacks sound weird, and based on a question-and-answer session after the SXSW premiere, this after At least one sub-plot was left on the cutting room floor. But they do help sell the humor of the movie by diverting cinematic cues and gags — what if you put, like, everything On a bun, a man – in still scenes delivered with visual flair.
Dramatic elements still don’t always add up. Everything is everywhere Sci-fi sequences can be written as if they mark the time between absurdities, punctuated by an explanatory dialogue that does not mesh with the more compelling natural exchanges elsewhere. The script is full of monologues about life and humanity that look good in solitude but are as abruptly switched up as the movie’s costumes, emphasizing the character’s motives that were not well established before that moment.
However, the relationship between Evelyn, Joy, Waymond, and (unexpectedly) Deirdre develops into something sweet that remains. Just Felt far from fermenting. Everything is everywhere The individual characters are largely archetypes, albeit prototypes not often seen in mainstream science fiction films. But the movie treats them as complementary faces of one complex person rather than a plethora of separate entities. There’s no cheap ambiguity about whether any of the movie’s events take place – the multiverse certainly exists, and contains people whose fingers are definitely hot dogs – but its set of worlds has an air of fantasy that highlights aspects of the characters’ core, making it more than just tricks or tricks. Weird in itself.
This may be due less to the script than to the cast, who bring consistency to the more bullshit scenarios. Quan gives Waymond a soft spot that appears even as he drags Evelyn around the multiverse. While Hsu gets less screen time as her original in-universe character, she balances being a fierce and hopelessly lost nihilist as one of Joey’s alter ego. Deirdre is legally mean, but – like many jerks in the real world – capable of kindness and affection.
In a film that evokes countless previous films about disgruntled losers who discover they are heroes in secret, Yeoh offers a poignant and engaging look at metaphor. Her protagonist is disappointed in life but is still a mature, working human surrounded by flawed but ultimately fit people. Evelyn’s plunge into the multiverse foretold the way she navigates her multigenerational, multilingual family, her rapid dialogue switching between Mandarin, Cantonese and English. one of Everything is everywhere The running jokes are that the protagonist is literally the least talented version of herself, but the gaps between Evelyn’s selves never seem to be contradictory — you can believe some decisions separate the beleaguered laundry owner and the head chef or opera singer.
For all the weird stuff you’ve been thrown at everything everywhere, Arguably Cowan and Scheinert’s most risky move was the selection of a roughly 140-minute running time for the comedy that revolved around deliberate strokes of color, a potentially polarizing style of humor, and a grueling pace. Everything is everywhere It’s a giant tangled ball of a movie, and if it doesn’t work for you, that feeling will last for a very, very long time. if it Do Action, though, might be one of the more ridiculous movies you’ve seen this year.
Everything everywhere at once For the first time in cinemas on March 25
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