Sommerleigh Pollonais, Senior Writer
Plot: An aging Chinese immigrant is swept up in an insane adventure, where she alone can save the world by exploring other universes connecting with the lives she could have led.
Review: You’re on your way to a party but your friend asks you to go with her to another event. Which do you choose? Better yet, what would’ve happened if you made a different choice?
It’s a question most of us don’t give a lot of thought to unless you’re in a singular type of mood. But everyone at some point in time has wondered, “What would my life have been like if I had made different choices?”Well, this movie takes that question to a fantastical place that feels like a mix of The Matrix meets Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy with a bit of Rick and Morty nihilism thrown in for fun.
I’ve been a fan of Michelle Yeoh since I first saw her in Jackie Chan’s Police Story (side note: Chan turned down the opportunity to co-star in this movie to which Yeoh is quoted as telling him “Your loss my bro!”). She’s an amazing actress with a vast and memorable body of work but it’s her most recent roles that have garnered her huge attention with Western audiences, such as her instantly iconic turn as Emperor Phillipa Georgiou in Star Trek: Discovery. But without a doubt, her role here as Evelyn Wang is going to go down as one of her absolute best.
Evelyn is a woman who feels stuck in her day to day life of managing a laundromat with her loving but goofy husband, Waymond (Ke Huy Quan, who you’ll remember as Short Round in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Data in The Goonies). She feels like a failure in the eyes of her father Gong Gong played by another icon of cinema, James Hong (Big Trouble in Little China, Blade Runner) and struggles to accept her daughter Joy’s sexuality.
Everything, Everywhere explores a bevy of themes and the everything-and-the-kitchen-sink style of storytelling works to its benefit. I feel like this is one of those movies you’ll either think is fantastic (I sure did) or you’ll think it’s trying to do too much, but in a way, that’s the point of it all. With the help of another version of her husband Evelyn discovers that the universe is made up of multiple timelines and depending on your choices; you may have become a highly skilled and famous martial artist (a fun nod to the real life actress) or work in a sushi bar, or even be from a world where everyone evolved to have hot dog length fingers. Through a series of nonsensical acts, one can tap into the abilities of their “other selves” and use them, which made from some truly hilarious and over the top action sequences With its crazy action sequences a la The Matrix that were beautifully shot and amplified by great cinematography and a memorable score.
Michelle Yeoh isn’t the only one bringing her best to the table here though. Ke Huy Quan is one of the most loveable characters I’ve seen outside of a Pixar movie to date. His role as her husband plays such an integral part to the entire story and their chemistry together is flawless. Same goes for her scenes with Jamie Lee Curtis who plays Diedre, an IRS agent who the family meets with to deal with their taxes, and last but certainly not least is Stephanie Hsu as Joy, Evelyn’s daughter. I won’t go into too much detail to avoid spoilers but I’ll will say she also has a pivotal role here, one that will have you reaching for those tissues, so keep ‘em close.
As I’m typing this review all I can think is there’s so much to be said about this movie, too much to put into words. It’s the type of high concept film that movie fans live for. The kind of movie you’ll want to get together and discuss for hours with likeminded friends. Strip away the frenzied action and the zany antics though and at its heart, Everything Everywhere All at Once is a heartfelt dramedy about the importance of loving the life you’ve built with the people you love, warts and all. My Mom once told me “If you live to see old age and your regrets can fit in one hand, you’ve lived a great life”.
Or if that doesn’t do it for you, then how about this gem from Rick and Morty: “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV”.
Sommer’s Score: 9 out of 10
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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