Everything Everywhere All at Once is a movie directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert and has been labeled as the most recent sci-fi/action blockbuster movie. In reality, although action is prevalent, the film crosses many genre lines and goes into difficult topics such as generational trauma and the existential quandary of what really matters in life. Everything Everywhere All at Once is an amazing film that makes the viewer think deeply about their lives and our universe.
The plot follows a Chinese American laundromat owner named Evelyn Quan Wang. When the Wang family is audited by the IRS and made to attend a meeting with an agent, Evelyn very quickly and shockingly finds out that the multiverse exists. More than that, she has been selected as the one who must prevent an unknown being from destroying it. For context, the multiverse is the theory that there are infinite universes, different and alike to ours in every possible way.
There is no other way to label Everything Everywhere All at Once as anything other than executed chaos. Usually with movies about the multiverse, directors take a serious tone, but Kwan and Scheinert went in a much more satirical direction.
From ridiculous methods of traveling into other universes, such as eating chapstick or breaking your own arm, to the universes themselves, this movie never fails to be chaotically hilarious. These other universes show every potential version of Evelyn there is, and all the hopes and dreams she has had throughout her life. The movie artfully grapples with serious topics with such a comedic tone that you hardly notice the grand impact of the movie until it is over.
The second half of the movie has a theme of generational trauma and how to address and fix it. Evelyn, has certain ideas about the world and who her daughter should be, especially because of her own childhood in another country. On Joy’s end, she struggles with feeling accepted by her mom. The film shows how the trauma Evelyn went through with her father was then pushed onto Joy, which made her pull away from her family. The audience sees how Evelyn’s experience leaving her family and home in China affected the way that Joy was raised and the environment she grew up in.
This film also starred an extremely talented cast of well known actors such as Michelle Yeoh and Jamie Lee Curtis, along with the prolific James Hong, Stephanie Hsu, and Ke Huy Quan. The film was also produced by the Russo brothers who are known for their work with Marvel, and their touch is evident in the comedic action of Everything Everywhere All at Once.
Yeoh’s acting is what really pulls everything together. This movie is balanced on the edge of becoming too chaotic and far out, but Yeoh’s effortless talent is one of the things that keeps the film afloat.
Everything Everywhere All at Once is wildly entertaining and will have you laughing out loud in the movie theater, but also delves into deep, existential topics that are important for everyone to think about at some point in their life.