Perhaps the second of two movies that could really earn the title of ‘multiverse of madness’ to be released in 2022. But unlike Marvel’s Doctor Strange sequel, the directing duo of Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert really throw the kitchen sink (and then some) at the concept of a multiverse. Not being restrained to contractual obligations unlike Marvel’s project, there’s really endless opportunities for an omniverse that is written with such a blank page. Everything Everywhere All at Once is an assault on all the senses and every expression and emotion, as the Daniels (collective name given for the directors) take you on a psychedelic trip through the looking glass that is filled with whimsical wonder and charming characteristics.
They say that nothing in this world can be certain except for death and taxes (and is this case laundry) and for husband and wife Waymond and Evelyn Wang – played by Ke Huy Quan and Michelle Yeoh respectively – that seems to be apparent. On the day of an important meeting with IRS auditors, Evelyn’s life is about to see a drastic change as she is introduced into a multidimensional world where a dangerous entity known as Jobu Tupaki – who can jump between the many different universes – seeks to destroy the multiverse with a black hole in which she created.
What’s great about Everything Everywhere All at Once is that it doesn’t just rely on its ambitious route, but behind all the bizarre blend of ideas and styles is a sweet story that tackles real life issues such as divorce, taxes and family drama. And it’s not even as if all that stuff is brushed to the side whilst the chaos quickly unfolds, but rather remains as an integral part of the structure throughout.
The idea of a multiverse brings up endless opportunities that likewise can lead to endless results. The duo of Daniels present a fresh and highly comical way of working the multidimensional metamorphosis into their script with the act of ‘verse-jumping’. Where jumping through the different universe’s requires a unique ‘jumping pad’, which is the name given for an act that is of an uncharacteristic or highly improbable nature that will then grant the host new abilities. This is where the movie gets incredibly inventive and leads to some real belly laughs to the like I’ve been missing for some time.
Of course all of these moving parts mean nothing without the right cast and that’s something that has evidently been given a lot of thought. Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Crazy Rich Asians) gives perhaps the performance of her career as she tackles drama, action and comedy all at once, nailing each aspect, and a surprise return to the limelight for Ke Huy Quan, who you may remember as Short Round from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and Data from the Goonies.
Strong backing performances coming from Stephanie Hsu as daughter Joy, with Jamie Lee Curtis and James Hong providing a lot of the comedy as the insensitive IRS auditor and grumpy grandpa respectively.
Everything Everywhere All at Once is proof that there are new ideas out there, and the Daniels get the best out of their quirky concept with a stunning visual display that funnily enough practically does offer you everything, everywhere and more often than not, all at once. A movie that really throws everything it has at you and remains a blast from its opening frame up until its very last.