Everything Everywhere All at Once

Everything Everywhere All at Once ★★★★

There are moments of this that barely pass as mid-tier SNL Digital Shorts stitched together to add more resonance than what's actually there. The rest, though? Plays like the Zucker brothers and Johnny Knoxville got together to make CLOUD ATLAS about generational diasporic family trauma on a $5 budget that looks 7 million times its worth. While perhaps just a hair on the wrong side of the earnest/crude divide to match the highest Wachowski highs (among which are as fresh as 4 months ago), EEAA0 still earns its keep especially thanks to an immaculate "put this guy in every movie NOW" performance from Ke Huy Quan and a surprising "I just stole what's left of Lana Condor's career" turn from Stephanie Hsu. What would this be without Michelle Yeoh, of course, in a role so startlingly dynamic, broadly taxing and baldly personal that I can't hardly believe she was even in this, and I sat through the whole damn movie. And James Hong, well, it says more than enough that Daniels even found something new to do for an actor with over 650 acting credits.

If we're talking ambition for ambition's sake, then this is going to lap everyone else twice over before the year is out. Nothing less than a cage match where every single perspective of asian-american identity is given an equally-weighted finisher move, Daniels set the stakes at "no holds barred" and exhaustingly deliver a 4-way tie between our combatants that sort of lets the wind out of the sails of an otherwise convincing cinematic title bout. Turns out there's room for every possibility in the multiverse except for an untidy ending after all.

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