This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Madi’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
This awkwardly fluffy film states its goal outright only about thirty minutes into the movie. Alpha Waymond turns to Evelyn and says "You've felt it, institutions are collapsing the world is falling apart, we have to get back to the way things were" or something to that effect. This quote struck me and made the rest of the film make much more sense. The script is obnoxiously referential, nothing from beloved Pixar films to Wong Kar Wai is safe in this "Scary Movie 4" -esque tour de force through everything you might have enjoyed before the 2016 election. Desperate to claw back to the time when someone would excitedly ask you if you had heard of Rick and Morty. The Daniels seemed to have raided the trash can at a Geico advertising office and made off with the lowest dregs to fill their multiverse. And the only word I have for it is "grating".
If the humor were the worst part of this movie that would be one thing. But the story, echoing Camus' Myth of Sisyphus about the struggle to find happiness in a world where ultimately nothing matters, doesn't actually rub off the way I felt like they might have meant it. Perhaps I'm approaching this too cynically but it seemed like the movie begs you to simply accept your lot in life. Out of all possible worlds, Evelyn finds herself in the worst one, the one where she achieved the least and finds herself the least fulfilled. The obvious discomfort that this fact produces for her isn't used to spark the impetus for change or personal growth but instead sends her on the journey to acceptance of her role to live and die in the Laundromat. While even flaccid geriatric liberals like Joe Biden give lip service to "Building Back Better" the Daniels seem to want us to be nicer to the rubble.