Everything Everywhere All at Once

Everything Everywhere All at Once ★★

Structurally impressive in how Daniels have envisioned an entire film around what’s effectively one very long / exhausting climax which constantly redefines its resolution until unearthing the truth of its heart’s desire, yet it’s hard to reconcile how the prevailing vision of multiverse theory in cinema appears to be pop culture intertextuality unfolding across banal hallway environments brightened only by whatever vibrancy is dreamed upon in their cutaway. The aesthetic incompatibility of external integration does make for a great running joke with the deranged Ratatouille bit, an example of how Daniels’ non sequiturs form their own emotional arc via compound absurdity, however it falters when the uncanny valley of reference & reverence need to sustain the film’s fundamental genre beats. The martial arts exist in this murky dissatisfaction of not quite being wide enough, the inserts not punchy enough, nor the slow motion quite timed right, emphasising the furthest excess of the action but missing the poignancy of its bridging attributions. This is something of a prevailing issue with the drama as a whole, possessing these compassionate moments like the Wong Kar-wai homage (a rare instance that successfully commits to both the texture and text of an outer work) or the simplicity of James Wong(!) grasping a hand, then reverting to the serial escalation of a bagel black hole threatening the ultimate multiverse extinction of something as heartfelt as a tender family drama.

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