Do you see how many genres I’ve had to categorise this movie into? Truth is, it’s a little bit of everything. In fact, all the best movies contain elements of genre-bending, and if there was an award for most genres packed into one film… this one might just take the biscuit. Some fanatics have labelled this movie ‘the best film they’ve ever seen’, so let’s see if it lives up to that ridiculously high praise.
Everything Everywhere All at Once is the second multiverse blockbuster of this year. It seems as though multiverses are the new big thing, right? It’s kind of difficult to summarise this movie, since there’s so much going on within it, so I’ll just say this: Michelle Yeoh plays Evelyn, a Chinese immigrant whose life seems to be getting worse by the day. On one extraordinary day however, she learns that she alone can save what’s most important to her by peeking into alternate universes. What’s special is that these universes just happen to be what her life could have been like had she made different choices in the past.
How do you even begin to review this movie? All I know is that it’s the most original piece of filmmaking I’ve seen in a very long time. And it takes a lot for me to find something truly original these days.
To put it briefly: I think I need to see it again. It’s so incredibly difficult to whittle down into a short blog post, because the entire movie comes at you like a ton of bricks. Comparing it to Multiverse of Madness (as so many have done) seems completely reductive really; the only thing they have in common is the overt theme of the multiverse. In the case of Everything Everywhere, it’s definitely something you need to see more than once purely because it’s impossible to take everything in over the course of just one sitting. For clarification: that is a good thing.
What makes me most grateful is the fact that Michelle Yeoh finally gets a starring role that showcases how brilliant she is. Though there’s plenty of Chinese culture being referenced here, it doesn’t become almost the only facet of Yeoh’s character, which has often been the case previously. Not only can she partake in a convincing fight sequence, but she can do comedy, she can do heartfelt drama, and she can carry an entire movie… all at once. (Sorry.) Now, she is not just the quirky, wisdom-imparting side character, but she is front and centre in the most fabulous way.
Everything about this film is simply a whirlwind. It comes with really great writing, and the dialogue seamlessly transitions between English, Mandarin and Cantonese whilst still being coherent. Sitting here typing this is super difficult, because I can’t actually process everything I just saw. So much happened, yet I can’t exactly pinpoint anything specific… except for Jamie Lee Curtis and her hot dog fingers. Which, by the way, was comedy gold. Not only is the script fantastic, but there are visual delights galore, and that’s before we even get into the nitty gritty technical stuff like the playful changes in aspect ratio and the use of the three-act structure.
Perhaps the only things I didn’t love about this movie were the length of it (although that can’t really be helped with there being so much ground to cover) and the fact that I didn’t quite feel the emotional connection with it that others seemed to. Nevertheless, it’s bonkers, creative, beautifully messy… and I can’t wait to see it again.
Everything Everywhere All at Once is currently screening in cinemas across the UK.
TQR Category Ratings:
Costume & Set Design:
Overall Enjoyability Rating: ½