Imagine a world where there’s a different version of you that lives in a new dimension. There’s the mind-boggling concept that there are an infinite number of different universes coexisting with one another, each unique in their own way.
Everything Everywhere All at Once is now the second movie in the past few months to tackle the idea, the first being Spider-Man: No Way Home. The highly anticipated film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness also revolves around this idea. But in Everything Everywhere All at Once, the directors’ flawless execution of the multiverse just might make it the best of the crop.
The story, written by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert—a creative pair known as Daniels—is centered on Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh), a wife and mother who runs a failing laundromat with her husband, Waymond (Ke Huy Quan). As the couple deals with personal problems, they fight to sort out financial issues with their business.
On their way to an audit meeting, Waymond shifts, becoming another universe’s Waymond, and informs Evelyn of the danger she’s in. Evelyn then must learn her way around the multiverse to stop the threat and save her life as she knows it.
Every individual performance in this film is phenomenal. From Yeoh providing the audience with a confused woman just trying to hold her family together, the audience gets a strong protagonist with convincing motives. Quan as Waymond delivers levels of emotional complexity as multiple different forms of Waymond from across universes.
Each universe adds a unique and insightful touch to Waymond’s character and complicates the storylines of other characters. Stephanie Hsu as Eleanor, Evelyn’s daughter, offers a relatable personality caught in the middle of familial issues. All of the minor characters, such as Deirdre Beaubeirdra (Jamie Lee Curtis), cash in on many hilarious moments that make this film enjoyable.
The directors use humor in all of the right ways. In what seems like it should be a life-or-death, fate of the universe on the line–type film, they keep it lighthearted. The directing pair loosens the audience members up with humor just to punch them in the face with drama, making each scene more impactful.
After the first fight scene in the film, Waymond engages in hilarious combat moves, and as soon as it’s over, the married couple is forced to confront an awkward conversation.
The way that the film tackles so many different genres, from a love story to a kung fu flick, is a masterclass of storytelling. Usually, films that aim so high tend to fly too close to the sun and burn out, but Everything Everywhere All at Once flies right past the sun and keeps going, reaching the heights of the film’s potential.
Featured Image Courtesy of A24