Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Movie Review: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Stars: 2 out of 5
Pros: Some fun moments
Cons: Overall preachy and just plain weird
The Bottom Line:
Int’resting premise
Some fun in execution
Ultimately flat

“You Can Either Come with Me and Live Up to Your Potential.  Or You Can Lie Here and Live with the Consequences.”  “I Want to Lie Here.”

I first heard about Everything Everywhere All at Once a few months back. It was being praised as an inventive new movie that was wildly fun, so I put it on my to watch list. I got a chance to see it on my recent cruise, and since I had nothing else planned, I figured now was a good time to see it. Honestly, I would have stopped watching it except there wasn’t much else I was interested in doing. 

The movie tells the story of Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh), an immigrant to America who runs a laundry. However, things are falling apart in her life. Her father (James Hong) is visiting, and he’s a demanding house guest. Her relationship with her daughter, Joy (Stephanie Hsu), is strained. And she and her husband are going through an audit from the IRS. 

As they are arriving for an appointment with their auditor one day, something strange starts to happen.  Her husband, Waymond (Ke Huy Quan), starts acting strangely and talking about multiple universes. And Evelyn is the key to stopping some force that is out to destroy all of them. And then things get even weirder. Can she save the multiverse? 

No, this isn’t a superhero film, or at least not one connected to any of the major superhero franchises. You could argue that the fantasy of this film crosses into that territory at times. But it is more fantasy than anything else. 

And the premise sounds intriguing, right? That’s why I wanted to see it. It took a bit to set up the premise, which is understandable. We need to get to know Evelyn and watch her slowly come to terms with what is happening. It does a good job of keeping in engaged as this part was happening. 

Once that has been established, we get some wonderful comedy moments. Yes, sometimes we cringed as we laughed, but there were wonderful comedic moments in the first half. 

Then comes the second half. They try to get serious, and I certainly did feel myself tearing up. However, in their attempts to get serious, they turned preachy, incorporating one of the current pet causes into the moral. There were still too many elements at the end, which made it weird and too drawn out, cutting into the impact of what they were trying to say. 

And that’s why I felt let down by the movie, overall. When it was finished, all I could think was “What did I just watch?” It was just weird. Most of that came from trying to introduce and resolve too many stories. 

This is no reflection on the cast, who are all outstanding. Their performances alone help us keep the various realities straight. Among the cast I haven’t mentioned is Jamie Lee Curtis, who steals many scenes as the IRS agent. Likewise, the effects and stunts are wonderful. 

The movie is rated R. The film is partially in subtitles, but mostly in English. Plan accordingly for both if you sit down to watch it. 

It’s a shame that this intriguing premise wasn’t executed better. As it is, I can’t recommend you watch Everything Everywhere All at Once any time or any place. 

1 comment:

  1. I have heard of this movie, but haven't watched it yet. Nice review, Mark


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