Everything Everywhere All At Once (Film Review)

Everything Everywhere All At Once is exactly that. Prepare yourself for a mind-blowing 139 minutes of sensory overload in what will be one of the most memorable cinema experiences of this or any year.

Directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert 

Starring: Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, Stephanie Hsu, Jamie Lee Curtis

Trying to describe what Everything Everywhere All At Once is “about” is virtually impossible. The official line is that is “a hilarious and big-hearted sci-fi action adventure about an exhausted Chinese American woman who can’t seem to finish her taxes”.

Everything Everywhere All At Once

The “Chinese American woman” in question is Evelyn Wang, played by Michelle Yeoh, she of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Tomorrow Never Dies fame. Together with her husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quan) they do indeed run a small laundromat. Seemingly benignly, they are being audited by the IRS in the form of one Deirdre Beaubeirdra, played by an almost unrecognisable Jamie Lee Curtis.

But as we discover very quickly…all is not as it seems.

Everything Everywhere All At OnceIf fact, nothing is at it seems in this wild, hallucinogenic roller-coaster ride of a movie.

Its seems Evelyn is in touch with multiple version of the universe, all popping in rather randomly to create what can only be described as a visual and aural orgasm.

In the “real” world, Evelyn’s husband is serving her divorce papers, her aging father is visiting from China and her teenage daughter has a girlfriend named Becky.

But that’s just the start.

As Evelyn transports herself to parallel universes at the drop of a hat, she not only meets different versions of herself but also a dizzying cast of characters, a bagel that might be a black hole, a world where humans have hot dogs for fingers, a Ratatouille-inspired raccoon and a couple of rocks chatting peacefully near a canyon.

Watching this in real time, for the first time will leave you gasping for meaning.

I immediately when down a rabbit hole, or I should say raccoon hole, to read anything and everything I could find about this film.

Everything Everywhere All At OnceApparently it’s about “making choices”…with Evelyn becoming everything from a mother and wife a kung-fu master and a movie star depending on what parallel universe she finds herself in and what choices she has made.

Visually, the effects and the editing are dazzling and the soundtrack is equally rewarding with contributions by Son Lux, Mitski, David Byrne, Andre 3000 and David Bowie’s Time. Oh, and I think Randy Newman may be the raccoon.

Jackie Chan was originally set to star in this but fortunately the Daniels chose Michelle Yeoh who is the glue that holds this all together. Her performance is Oscar-calibre (if that’s even a thing these days).

Well, The Beatles once sang, “nothing is real”, so just brace yourself for one psychedelic trip…you’ll want to see this one again and again. Be sure to bring your own mushrooms and make sure there’s enough for the raccoon.

Marty Duda

Click here to see Everything Everywhere All At Once