Multiverses are the in thing right now. With the Multiverse of Madness coming up from Marvel Studios soon off the heels of Spider-Man: No Way Home, and the Flash film due this year, multiverses are everything and everywhere.
I certainly hope that the superhero ones are as good as the multiverse in the Daniels’ newest film, Everything Everywhere All at Once. The Daniels are directors Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, who have worked together on several great films, including a personal favorite of mine, Swiss Army Man.
This film starred Michelle Yeoh as Evelyn who, along with her husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quan), own a failing laundromat and are having troubles with their taxes. Their daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu) was coming to see them with her girlfriend Becky (Tallie Medel). Evelyn had plenty of issues with the choices that Joy had made in her life.
However, just prior to their tax appointment, Waymond gave Evelyn a bizarre message and acted like a completely different person. Turned out he was from a different universe and performing a “verse jump” maneuver that allowed him to inhabit the body of a different universe version of himself and access their skills and memories. He was looking for the perfect foil to counter the great evil of the multiverse, out to destroy all.
The Russo Brothers are among the producers on this project, bringing their own knowledge and skills at presenting timelines from the MCU.
This movie was way funnier than I ever thought it would be. There were moments where it was downright hilarious. The humor reminded me quite a bit of Swiss Army Man, just without the flatulence. The humor did not feel out of place. It felt perfectly in sync with the characters and the situations that we found them in.
Ke Huy Quan, who is best known for his classic roles of Data from the Goonies and Short Round from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, was excellent in this film, providing multiple versions of the same character and doing it believably. Ke Huy Quan had retired from acting a few years ago because of the lack of roles for Asian actors, but he came back for this and just was outstanding.
Also outstanding was James Hong as Gong Gong, Evelyn’s father. James Hong has been one of the most active and prevalent Asian actors in films and TV. He brings a definite gravitas to this film.
Then, Jamie Lee Curtis is in the movie too as an IRS agent Deirdre Beaubeirdra. Curtis is spectacular in the role, also being involved in playing several versions of the character. Curtis and Yeoh have great chemistry and work extremely well together, whether they be fighting or bonding.
The creativity on display here is unmatched. I won’t spoil some of the universes we see, but there are some mind-bending examples that give not only great laughs but also examples that we have never seen before. The Daniels create a complicated story that was not that difficult to follow. They do an exceptional of keeping the audience in the loop and keeping them confused only when it served the story.
At the heart of this chaotic traverse through the multiverse is a film about family and heart. That story of love and acceptance is what grounds this film, allowing it to give us such a bizarre group of worlds without totally losing the viewers. Everything Everywhere All at Once is an early leader for one of the best films of 2022.