Everything Everywhere All at Once

Everything Everywhere All at Once ★★★★★


It's been a while since I came across a title that simultaneously captured everything great about the film while also representing all that's wrong with it regardless of how miniscule those flaws might be. This is one of the cases where the film's biggest strength can also prove to be its own pitfall. The incessant amount of absurdist comedy can be a bit overbearing especially considering the relentless rate at which the sheer ridiculousness is thrown at the audience without ever giving a single moment to breathe or allow us to collect our thoughts in order. Granted, I can say from personal experience that this is a problem that practically cease to exist upon a rewatch so it doesn't really bother me anymore.

So what is Everything Everywhere All At Once about? As the title suggest, it's about everything which also means it's about nothing. More specifically it's about the feeling of worthlessness that pervades our lives and makes us feel like we're nothing in comparison to the ocean of knowledge that we are still oblivious to. Despite how overly nihilistic that might sound, the Daniels manages to twist that sentiment and turned the film into one of the hilariously optimistic comedies to come out in recent memory. This is anti-nihilism at its finest.

Everything Everywhere All At Once is probably the most bizarrely original film to come out since The Matrix. And much like The Matrix, the film is a confounding mish-mash of countless other ideas that come together to create a wholly creative and excellent piece of Maximalist Cinema. I went into this movie expecting to love it and by the time it was over, I found myself appreciative of everything that it tried to do than the actual final product. But damn do the Daniels throw everything including the kitchen sink into this script and most of it manages to stick the landing. Now having seen it again, I was able to connect with the film far more than I originally did. This is one of those films that benefit greatly from a rewatch.

Michelle Yeoh owns this film and it could very well be her career defining role as she plays a character that very much feels like a tribute to her own incredible career. It's also great to see Ke Huy Quan again after being absent for 30 years, James Hong is ever so endearing as the hardened but lovable grandfather and it actually took me a hot minute to even recognize Jamie Lee Curtis. But if you ask me, it's Stephanie Hsu that delivers the best performance in the film. I would be shocked if atleast one of the cast members doesn't walk away with an acting nomination.

I saw a part of myself in almost every single character here and that's because what the Daniels try to convey with the film is rather universal. This is a film that demands multiple viewings as the break neck pace can be overwhelming. It's like trying to judge Inception after seeing it for the very first time. At a time where multiverses are all the range, I can safely say that Everything Everywhere All At Once has set the absolute gold standard that many filmmakers now has to surpass. There is an immense whirlwind of emotions on display here and the crazy thing is somehow the Daniels managed to find the perfect balance between the insanely absurd and the relentless emotion.

While I do minor gripes(and each one of them became less and less of an issue the more I think about the film), there is no denying the incredible assortment of things that it manages to accomplish. I love the various topics it covers ranging from acceptance, gender identity, suicide, depression, etc. This is one of those films that's practically destined to be a certified classic in the future if it hasn't already. People are going to look back and view the film the same we view the likes of The Matrix or Lord of the Rings or Back to the Future. This is not just a film that merely entertains but also heals and brings everyone together for one gloriously brief moment of cinematic perfection. It represents everything that's great about cinema and the overwhelming power it can have on us as an audience. It's going to take another miracle of a movie to dethrone Everything Everywhere All At Once as the best film of 2022.

Plus it also has what could be the single best Pixar reference that I have ever seen.

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