Everything Everywhere All at Once
Might contain spoilers.
Objectively, this is nothing more than immensely sentimental confectionery and fluff. It extols the virtues of being special by not being special. It praises the mundanity of ordinary life. It reassures viewers that everything was better before and the characters will fix it.
But ah! what magnificent, incredible, moving, affecting, and brilliant fluff it is, and what a
wondrous accomplishment. The film isn’t
so unique, because it isn’t a degree of unique:
it’s one of a kind. It’s amusing to compare it to the abysmal Doctor Strange in the
Multiverse of Madness, as Honest
Trailers does: the parallels are there, yet the two
couldn’t be more different.
The performances are first rate. Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan are staggeringly good; the isolated clips I encounter here and there only make me appreciate them more each time. Stephanie Hsu is excellent, especially the first time we see Jobu Tupaki enter Joy’s body and smoothly pass under the police tape. James Hong is naturally flawless. As for Jamie Lee Curtis, even though I knew at some point in the past that she was in the film, I was genuinely taken aback to (re)discover it was her in the credits—this believable and recognizable character is the opposite of, well, her.
The rock universe is unquestionably my favourite. The preceding scenes had already made me smile. When the film unexpectedly returned to that universe, I started crying tears of joy and didn’t entirely stop until it was over. Meanwhile, Evelyn explaining ‘Raccacoonie’ to Waymond and Joy had me doubled over in laughter, and seeing it in the flesh later was an unexpected delight.
The action, visuals, lighting, and—mostly—sound are spectacular. So is the editing, obviously, to have shaped a coherent but not predictable film from pure chaos. I’m glad it steps away from the technology of the Alphaverse and focuses on the human story in the second half. After all, the whole thing is really just about the Wang family. The authentic representation of the Chinese-American experience is monumental. The fact that the film’s omnipotent protagonist and antagonist are mother and daughter is heartwarming.
Everything Everywhere All at Once is a long one. This is justifiable except in the more
disgusting scenes. The hot dog fingers universe is funny when it first appears, then nauseating. The
two men who
versejump by sticking things in their rectums are similarly funny for a brief
moment, then offputting for the rest of a scene that goes on too long.
- Although I can’t stop thinking about all the people Joy maimed, hurt, traumatized, or outright killed.↩