Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)

Everything Everywhere All at Once
Director: Dan Kwan, Daniel Scheinert
Writer: Dan Kwan, Daniel Scheinert
Cast: Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, James Hong, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tallie Medel, Jenny Slate, Harry Shum Jr.
Part of: SLASH 1/2 Filmfestival
Seen on: 5.5.2022

Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh) and her husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quan) run a laundromat together, a business that has made it possible for them to raise their daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu) but that hasn’t been going that well and that is currently being audited by IRS. A fact that Evelyn’s father Gong Gong (James Hong) isn’t allowed to know. But Evelyn and Waymond have to take him with them to the appointment with their auditor Deirdre (Jamie Lee Curtis). On the way there, Waymond starts behaving strangely though, giving weird instructions to Evelyn and finally telling her that he is from a parallel universe and the multiverse needs Evelyn to save it. Evelyn would rather not, but there is no escaping Jobu Tupaki.

I had extremely high expectations for this film. Not just because everything about it looked great, but also because I loved Swiss Army Man so very much. That, of course, also made me worried, because we all know how hard sophomore works have it when the first one is simply magical. In any case, I need not have worried. Everything Everywhere All at Once is an absolute delight.

The very colorful filmposter showing drawings of characters, various symbols and a whole lot of googly eyes arranged in a psychedelic circle.

Everything Everywhere All at Once shows us what a firework of ideas really looks like – every twist of the story is utterly exciting and unpredictable, and yet fits perfectly with what has been established until it comes. It’s creative, wild, loud and colorful – and Jobu Tupaki’s costumes alone would have been worth the price of admission (and I say this as someone who is not a costume person in general).

And at the same time, it is a touching and insightful story about human connection that has excellent character work and will surely bring tears to your eyes. I have both laughed until I cried and had my heart broken and mended again until I cried. And honestly, when one of the Waymonds gives us a speech about the necessity of kindness, not only is it something I think we all desperately need to hear, and something that seemed to speak straight from my heart, it was also one of the sexiest moments in film in recent memory.

Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh) pushing her husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quan) and her daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu) behind her.

Michelle Yeoh, unsurprisingly, is nothing short of perfect in the film, and I cannot stress enough how lovely it is whenever we get to see her. Quan’s return to cinema is probably the most powerful comeback I have ever seen (and his fanny pack that takes such a central role doesn’t feel like the only continuation of his Data character). Stephanie Hsu shows real star power, too, and I hope to see much more of her. And that’s not even mentioning the supporting roles that were equally great (apart from the fact that they put Jamie Lee Curtis in a fat suit. Those things just need to die).

In short, the film really reproduced the magic of Swiss Army Man in an entirely new and absolutely exciting way. It’s the kind of film that will make you marvel at Yeoh and laugh about sausage fingers, all the while confronting you with the best truths about what it’s like to be human.

Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh) in a fighting pose, a single googly eye on her forehead.

Summarizing: special and a must-see.

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