A multiverse movie that has a unique family dynamic that embraces its own absurdity.
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” follows a Chinese immigrant family whose financial struggles with their small business are slowly tearing them apart. This suddenly becomes the least of their concerns when the multiverse steps in to turn their lives upside down.
Michelle Yeoh takes on the role of the protagonist and matriarch of the Wang family, Evelyn, who has lost her sense of joy under the constant pressure of running a small business and taking care of her mostly helpless father. That is just the tip of the iceberg of her performance as she learns how to access other versions of herself from different universes. Not only does she handle the mundane parts of the film with aplomb but Yeoh somehow makes this absurd concept somehow relatable.
She is flanked by some outstanding performances by : Ke Huy Quan, who plays her meek husband Waymond; Jamie Lee Curtis, who plays the menacing and endearing Dierdre and Stephanie Hsu, who plays Joy, Waymond and Evelyn’s daughter. These characters are all unique on their own, but the actors/actresses really get to showcase their talent as they play multiple versions of themselves. Sometimes this means having an epic fight scene with a fanny pack, and other times it means having intimate moments with loved ones.
What makes these performances so great is that the movie buys into the absurdity every bit as much as the actors/actresses. The grandfather, played by James Hong, for example, goes from using tradition as a means of mentally abusing his daughter to turning office supplies into a mech suit. “Everything Everywhere All at Once” takes time to make fun of its own ridiculousness through creative fight scenes and dialogue but never loses sight of how it is a movie about a family going through a crisis.
There are times when it might seem like one of the worlds that Director Dan Kwan imagined is aimless but generally speaking, they all pay off. My favorite was a reimagination of the movie “Ratatouille” which is just as endearing as the original. Even worlds where they have hot dogs for hands somehow come around full circle to have a deeper meaning, all while being utterly hilarious to look at.
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” takes the multiverse trope that is becoming more and more popular, to its maximum potential. A family dynamic that spans across the cosmos might sound messy, and it is, but it embraces that messiness to deliver a polished and fun experience. This movie will make you laugh, but more importantly, it will make you want to call your mom.
Star Rating 5\5
[Everything Everywhere All at Once is available in select theaters]