Film Review – Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)

Title – Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)

Directors – Dan Kwan & Daniel Scheinert (Swiss Army Man

Cast – Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, Stephanie Hsu, James Hong, Jamie Lee Curtis 

Plot – Long married Chinese immigrant couple Evelyn (Yeoh) and Waymond Wong (Quan) and their increasingly distant teenage daughter Joy (Hsu) have their lives and literal universes shaken by the reveal a link between alternate lives can exist in their world. 

“Of all the places I could be, I just want to be here with you”

Review by Eddie on 18/05/2022

When it comes to almost universal praise, 2022 breakout hit Everything Everywhere All at Once is in a league of its own when you consider that audiences alongside critics from across the globe have bandied together to hail Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s (aka Daniels) mind-melting experience an instant classic, a feature that once more confirms originality in the film industry is not in fact dead and dormant, in an age where arguments have been made that cinemas are now all about Marvel and comic creations, not content as loaded and downright insane as what we have here. 

With a swell of support in all forms, having finally had the chance to enter the darkened cinema and partake in what Daniels has in store for viewers (an oddness that is familiar to anyone that’s seen their previous films), I can see why and how Everything has become the sensation it has been and credit where credit is due with the film managing such tricky feats as making us care for subtitled rocks or people sporting sausages for fingers, while also giving industry veteran Michelle Yeoh a role that she will long be remembered for and a chance at Oscar glory while also providing a grand re-entry to the big screen for 80’s child acting legend Ke Huy Quan but as the age old saying goes, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. 

Clocking in at over two hours and taking place almost exclusively in a coin operated laundry and an IRS office building, despite its many detours and snippets of other worlds and lives of our main trio, Everything is unquestionably unique and unlike anything you’ve ever seen before (trust me there are things here you can never un-see) but once its end game becomes apparent and you become overtly aware at its messaging and its running jokes, the films almost endlessly proceeding finale that literally spans a good 30 – 40 minutes ensures the films enthusiastic momentum and relentless energy that is so fantastic early begins to become more of a chore rather than a pleasure to sit through. 

Like a good party that overstays its welcome, Daniels could’ve easily packaged up their narrative and the procession of slow-mo action set pieces or repetitive ruminations on the pointlessness of life that is overridden by the love and friendships we can hold close to our hearts into a much more bullet like whole, one that would’ve pierced the heartstrings faster and more effectively as they look to take viewers on a surprisingly emotional journey that maintains that this film is much more than adult orientated jokes, inventive violence and concepts that don’t hold up to much further scrutiny. 

Regardless of the fact, this wildly imaginative film (one could argue almost too imaginative with countless ideas and scenarios getting little breathing time in amongst the many varied angles the film takes) gets bogged down the further it runs in circles and messaging, there’s an abundance of visual joy, sensory overload and good will towards characters that makes Daniel’s film one that would be one impossible not to appreciate in one way or another.

Whether you look at the film as a straight up comedy, one with dramatic depth tackling life’s big questions or one that just reveals in its immaturity, Everything is something no matter where you look and one that clearly has hit a chord with audiences crying out for a feature that goes for broke trying to be incomparable to anything else available to consume.   

Final Say – 

With wild imagination, inventiveness and charm, Everything Everywhere All at Once provides us with what is likely to be the most out there and playful feature film of the year and while it loses steam in a notable way past the three quarter mark, this energetically directed and brilliantly acted oddity stands out in a big way from a marketplace dominated by familiar offerings. 

3 1/2 fanny packs out of 5 

7 responses to “Film Review – Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)

  1. Hey Eddie, this is a really interesting take! You bring up a good point with the pacing. Can you elaborate a bit on the concepts in Everything that don’t hold up much to further scrutiny? This is actually something I address in my own 3300 word post on this movie too

    • Hi mate. I think for me the concepts that don’t work is a lot of the whole do something to take on an ability from another universe actions which are far too convenient more often than not. I also think there’s some mixed messages about the pointlessness of life then all of a sudden characters changing their opinions on a whim.
      E

      • Good points. Personally I was willing to accept that first point as just part of the story’s internal logic. But that second issue def needed more set up than it got so it makes the story feel inconsistent. It’s also what everyone’s character arcs hinge on so it’s a pretty big inconsistency

  2. This is the most spot on review I’ve come across! I’ve talked about this movie with countless friends who are entirely enamoured by this movie (most especially my friends from the LGBT community) and couldn’t quite put in words why it wasn’t a 10/10 for me.

    There is certainly a huge amount to rave about in the movie- the boundless creativity, the many moments of active suspense, the laugh-out-loud and often beautifully absurd humour – but the mixed messaging and protracted multi-pronged climax took it down a few pegs for me. Glad I’m not alone 🙂

    • I feel almost bad for not liking the film more as a lot of it is very inventive and enjoyable but I couldn’t bring myself to look past what I feel are some fairly obvious flaws and also odd decisions narratively.

      This is going to be one of those films I never quite understand the crazy praise for.
      E

    • I honestly have not struggled this badly with a final act in a long time mate.
      It just felt like an endless procession of repetitive scenes that were banging us over the head with a message we received loud and clear 30 minutes prior to the segments coming thick and fast.
      E

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