Everything Everywhere All at Once 

By: Adam Freed

A24 Studios and directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (The Daniels) release this week what is sure to be one of the most memorable and contemplative films of the year.  The aptly titled Everything Everywhere All at Once presents a mind bending, cross-universe story about a Chinese immigrant family ravaged by the oppressive nature of business co-ownership while grasping desperately to the frayed ends of their marriage.  The Daniels’ film is about as artistically daring as can be fathomed, presented courageously and without hesitation by a pair of filmmakers that seem to have created the perfect antidote to a post pandemic world in which Earth's rotation seems to be picking up pace. Everything Everywhere All at Once is a reminder that there are more than two extremist options in any scenario and access to those infinite choices exists only a few decisions away.

While words may fail to do justice to the experience of watching what is sure to be one of the more celebrated films of 2022, it is the powerful duality of Everything Everywhere All at Once that dares to throw everything at its audience, while simultaneously reminding that so little of it matters.  The nihilistic Yang to the deafening minutiae’s Yin accounts for a realization that there must be meaning in this life, but it cannot be found in the extremes presented therein.  Anchoring this masterful film is the incomparable Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), who as laundromat owner Evelyn Wang, plays both anchoring force and unexpected feminist combat icon within the same role.  Opposite Yeoh is a blast from the past performance by former child actor Ke Huy Quan (The Goonies, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) who, as Evelyn’s frustrated husband Waymond Wang, doubles as lovable everyman and aspirational action star. 

Ultimately Everything Everywhere All at Once is a story of family struggle strewn across an endless sea of universes and possibilities.  As contrived and space-brained as this may seem, it all works.  Even a delightfully poignant, yet multifaceted supporting role from Jaime Lee Curtis fits wonderfully into this shapeshifting puzzle of a film.  The delightful duality of Everything Everywhere All at Once is without question its superpower.  It is not a comedy, but it is hilarious, nor is The Daniels’ film really a Kung Fu action movie, yet contains a plethora of inventive and compelling combat sequences. It is at its core a work of science fiction, but like the greatest of its genre, it isn’t great because it invents new worlds, but invents new ways to view our own.

Target Score 8.5/10  Everything Everywhere All at Once is a film that must be seen to be believed.  It is, as its title suggests, a story told across time and space, yet is delightfully anchored by memorable performances by Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan.  The two international film icons provide audiences with a reason to invest in the film’s powerful message regarding the valor in fighting to preserve family.