A film as unique as any that has come before it for a long time: after the praise at the end of the world premiere EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE continues its triumph in various other countries. The cinematic unique can now also be seen in United Kingdom. We reveal more about this in our review.
OT: Everything Everywhere all at Once (USA 2022)
Laundromat owner Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh) is lost in the chaos of her everyday life: the upcoming visit from her father (James Hong) overwhelms her, the customers’ wishes push her to her limits and the upcoming tax return is completely over her head. A trip to the tax office is unavoidable, but while she and her family go to see the tax inspector (Jamie Lee Curtis), her universe is completely shaken up. Space and time dissolve and the people around them, like themselves, suddenly have additional lives in parallel worlds. She discovers that the multiverse is real and that she can access the abilities and lives of other versions of herself. This is sorely necessary because she is entrusted with a great, if not the greatest, mission: saving the world from unknown evil.
The US sitcom “Communty”, which aired from 2009 to 2015, is considered one of the most creative series of all time, and not just by hardcore fans like us. The Russo brothers, who were responsible for “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame,” were already able to let off steam there, and today’s superstars like Alison Brie and Donald Glover also became known to a wide audience there – before the series was canceled after six years and now has to wait for her film. Because we all know: The #SixSeasonsandaMovie is alive! The reason why we start the review of the crazy “Everything Everywhere all at Once” with a praise for “Community” not only has something to do with the absolutely obvious producer participation of the Russos, but above all with the fact that nothing would have been made like that, a special one episode based on them, like the films by Dan Kwan and Daniel Schreinert aka “The Daniels”. Her “A dead Daniel Radcliffe becomes a farting Swiss Army Knife” film “Swiss Army Man” was a similar cinematic uniqueness as her crazy multiverse and film genre trip “Everything Everywhere all at Once”. Both films simply provide an endless amount of material to really let off steam at the directing and script level, to bow and celebrate the “film medium”. There will probably never be a “Community” episode based on their original (even if hope dies last, of course!) but no one will take the films away from us. And “Everything Everywhere all at Once” in particular is simply predestined to be seen first on the screen and then countless times in the home cinema until you actually see it all Discovered details and references. In short: Abed Nadir would really enjoy the film!
Mother (Michelle Yeoh) and daughter (Stephanie Hsu).
One thing about “Everything Everywhere all at Once” is well known: the idea of a multiverse – i.e. a (film) world in which several parallel universes exist and can usually be switched between them – has existed in the general public’s perception since then at the latest Success of “Spider-Man: A New Universe.” In the Oscar-winning trick adventure, several Spider-Men from different realities appear to support each other in the fight against a villain. In addition, this topic is touched upon again and again in related time travel films; Depending on which time travel rules apply in the respective story. And then the next Marvel adventure “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” will soon be released, which already has the theme in the title. The multiverse theory is “in” – and that’s no wonder. If at any time in any universe anything, but also really everything can happen, creative people rejoice. This same “joy” can also be seen in the script and Daniels’ direction. Her “Everything Everywhere all at Once” takes the term “free-spinning” to a whole new level. Because the two of them take the “anything can happen” basis of their premise to the extreme. Many of their ideas are so outlandish and strange that they are likely to hit you all the more forcefully if you know them in advance not knows about their later appearance. Nevertheless, two important elements should be mentioned at this point: On the one hand, there are the universes themselves, whose appearance is sometimes shaped by banal decisions made by individual actors that have huge effects on further events. Sometimes a new (professional) career is hidden behind an “A or B” decision, other times large evolutionary steps are involved, so that a world in which people have sausages instead of fingers on their hands (this curiosity can already be found on the poster again), then seem almost realistic. At least considering the explanation behind it…
“The Directors” take the “anything can happen” basis of their premise to the extreme. Many of her ideas are so outlandish and strange that they are likely to hit you all the more forcefully if you do not know in advance that they will appear later.”
The second important (and existential for various “WTF!” moments in the film) is the way in which the characters can jump back and forth between universes. And it has never been so good for a film that no attempt is made to find a sensible, logical explanation behind it. As in the case of “Swiss Army Man”, Dan Kwan and Daniel Schreinert present an actual state from the start that cannot be shaken, but which, because of this, is never questioned. The fact that the two never trample on or even break the inner film logic in “Everything Everywhere all at Once” is due to the script, despite all the excessive anarchy, maintaining an overview of what is happening at all times. It illustrates the inner complexity with the help of memorable images that sometimes allow us to empathize with events that are difficult to grasp intellectually. And speaking of feeling: This part is never neglected in “Everything Everywhere all at Once”. The story, which is primarily set in the sci-fi, action and fantasy genre, is based on a tragicomic family fate, somewhere between “The Farewell”, “Minari” and Pixar’s “Red”, which stars Michelle Yeoh (“Last Christmas”) and fill their acting colleagues with love and life at all times – and that is sometimes so moving that next to the pictures of Jamie Lee Curtis wearing sausage fingers (“Halloween Kill”) or a terrific “Ratatouille” reference with a raccoon (!!), the interpersonal moments remain almost even more memorable. So the celebrated chaos never feels self-serving, but rather is absolutely necessary for the “big picture”.
In a wonderful supporting role as a tax auditor – and here without sausage fingers: Jamie Lee Curtis.
In addition, “Everything Everywhere all at Once” in its overall appearance not only lives from quotes (sometimes heavily modified and thereby made their own), but from its foray into the medium of film itself – with a fantastic Michelle Yeoh at the center, who in has already hopped through all of these genres in her almost 40-year acting career. The Daniels not only give the Malaysian-born actress every rein of her performance, which explores the limits of every emotion. They also pay tribute to her in that “Everything Everywhere all at Once” illustrates, What this woman can actually do everything. Unless you already knew that anyway… Her badass hand-to-hand combat has a confident physicality that even experienced martial arts colleagues would bow to. Not least because there is always a certain irony inherent in them that matches the tonality of the film. Nevertheless, nothing about “Everything Everywhere all at Once” is exclusively poetically ironic. The Daniels and their team are fully behind the absurdity here and mix their homages to (Asian) action cinema with excursions into horror, drama, comedy, horror and animation – as well as all their subgenres and sub-subgenres. “Everything Everywhere all at Once” nevertheless remains a self-contained, well-rounded film. That’s the advantage of the multiverse theme. She almost single-handedly undermines the accusation that something doesn’t fit together…
“In its overall appearance, ‘Everything Everywhere all at Once’ lives not just from quotes (sometimes heavily modified and thereby made their own), but from its foray into the medium of film itself – with a fantastic Michelle Yeoh at the center.”
Finally, there remains the urgently needed look at the craftsmanship. While the score (Son Lux) turns out to be the most inconspicuous thing about the film, the praise belongs, in addition to cameraman Larpin Seiple (who already worked with the Daniels on “Swiss Army Man”), to editor Paul Rogers (“The Death of Dick Long”). His work on Everything Everywhere all at Once is some of the best in recent years and is largely responsible for the film’s exhilaration and overview of events; Which, with so many storylines, is almost impossible. Rogers gives the film his incomparable rhythm, his flow, his pull. And that’s a detail that you only really become aware of when you watch it for the second or third time…
Conclusion: Whether as a family dramedy, as a science fiction, fantasy or action film: the multiverse spectacle “Everything Everywhere all at Once” is an unprecedented film event in every form it presents.
“Everything Everywhere all at Once” can be seen in USA cinemas from April 28, 2022.