‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ Movie Review: A Sweeping & Heartfelt Action-Comedy Epic
Everything Everywhere All At Once, the second feature from directing team of Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (aka Daniels), is a thrill ride of nonstop sensory overload, stunning action sequences, and a mind-boggling multiversal concept. With all these lofty elements, the film grounds itself thanks to incredible multi-layered performances by the core cast of Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, Stephanie Tsu and James Hong.
Yeoh’s performance is a particular delight as we get to see her flex the action and martial arts skills she’s a household name for, and also deliver some of the film’s best jokes and comedic moments with her reaction to the insane situations unfolding in front of her. This film was also the first film role for Key Huy Quan, known as Short Round from Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom, since his 2002 retirement. He similarly kept pace with Yeoh by giving at least three distinct performances as different versions of her husband.
Action films can get away with having flimsily-depicted characters if they deliver in all other areas, but the story of Evelyn Quan and her family facing a multiversal threat really hits home in ways you won’t expect before seeing. She’s a very realistic star character who doesn’t start out heroic. She initially takes every opportunity to shirk responsibility and faces challenges you genuinely don’t know if she’ll be prepared to surmount.
While the film grapples with major dramatic themes like nihilism, existentialism and generational trauma, its anarchic pace, and consistently humorous tone mean you never know what hilarious joke or sight gag is coming around the corner, and trust us when we say you really won’t expect some of these unless you look them up.
These bits could have completely spoiled the film’s momentum if handled by lesser creators, but every weirder and weirder gag somehow all works within the world established here. The directors must have consistently worried about what was essential story information through rewrites, and a plus of the film is it never treated the audience as stupid and leaned too hard on the exhaustive explanations that can sometimes be unavoidable with a lofty sci-fi concept.
Even if you’re not an action fan, there is a lot going for this film that makes it a great experience. It will still be difficult for the most hardcore action haters to not see a scene that impresses them here, as the cinematography and stunt work is absolutely next level. Everything Everywhere All At Once has an unmistakable feeling of being courageously and lovingly crafted with every line, shot and cut further carving this surreal romp’s place as one of the best films of the year so far.
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