Review of the 2022 movie "Everything Everywhere All at Once". Directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. Starring Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, and Jamie Lee Curtis.
I appreciated this movie, but I’m not sure how much I enjoyed it overall. It feels incredibly long and a bit confusing, though it’s packed with so many great elements, and everyone’s performance was amazing.
I’m with Pete Davidson when he says that he wants a “short-ass movie”. I was surprised to see that it actually runs 2 hours and 20 minutes because it felt like over 3.
The film had me laughing, tearing up, but also dozing off in the theater at one point.
I think the main focal point was supposed to be on Evelyn’s (Michelle Yeoh) relationship with her daughter, Joy, AKA Jobu Tupaki (Stephanie Hsu). However, there’s definitely tension between all members of the family, potentially all stemming from Evelyn’s father, Gong Gong (James Hong). I mostly enjoyed observing Evelyn’s relationship with her husband, Waymond (Ke Huy Quan), who still somehow seems like he’s playing Data from The Goonies. I really love his performance. Waymond is a man that is constantly optimistic, kind, and joyful in the face of adversity. It’s hard not to like a guy like that, though somehow Evelyn can’t see it.
I don’t think that I was able to pin down the entire meaning behind the storyline, which bugs me. I get the sense that there’s a lot of symbolism I’m missing out on. I did like what I managed to pick up on though, which is as follows:
None of us actually know what we’re doing here. We set all kinds of expectations and then attempt to measure each other and ourselves against them. We take ourselves so seriously that we end up in a fight. Take a step back and realize how big the universe is. If you do this, you may notice how small and stupid you are. We don’t know what’s going on. What should we do, other than be kind to one another and enjoy our lives?
Our insignificance is a powerful and paradoxical idea. On one hand that can mean chaos, but it can also bring peace.
I got lost in the details of The Multiverse, but Evelyn is able to gain a new perspective by traversing it.
There’s a powerful scene where she begins to attack her opponents with kindness rather than with violence. It’s not until she stops fighting that she’s able to find peace, ultimately releasing the tension that surrounds her family.
I don’t understand the whole idea around the antagonist, Jobu Tupaki. Maybe she’s the embodyment of all the fighting, or perhaps a byproduct. I definitely don’t understand her big, black everything bagel.
There are some extremely funny scenes in this movie. I love that they chose to offset such a serious and complex storyline with humor. Raccacoonie, an alternate-universe version of Ratatouille, had me laughing harder than I have in a long time.
This movie lives up to its title, for sure. There are a lot of visually stunning scenes, great use of humor, and impressive acting. I think that Evelyn is experiencing “everything, everywhere, all at once” from the beginning of the film up until the end. What changes is her reaction to it all. Unfortunately, this movie was a bit drawn-out for my taste. It also left me feeling confused about what was actually going on from scene to scene.
My wife went and got herself an everything bagel the morning after.