All at Once Review: Right now, multiverses are all the rage. Why should they not be? Telling a tale that only takes place on a particular plane of reality might be an act of denial in a time when people can’t even look at their smartphones without being assaulted with a seemingly unlimited number of competing realities. That isn’t an issue for Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, a filmmaking partnership. These guys haven’t simply been waiting for the current moment to reach parity with them; they’ve been preparing for it. It’s no wonder, therefore, that the project they’ve been working on since recognizes the dilemma of living with “Everything Everywhere All at Once” more vividly than any previous film in the genre.
Everything Everywhere All at Once Review: The Plot
It’s not as if there aren’t any other films like it. Here’s an orgiastic piece of slaphappy brilliance that works more like a particle collider; constructed by two insane 12-year-olds in the hopes of balancing the dread of what your lives might be with the pleasure of what they are. It’s a machine propelled by Michelle Yeoh’s best performance. It comes with the craziest martial arts clashes Stephen Chow has ever shot; drenched in the type of “anything goes” ethos that you can only see on TV these days.
All at Once Review finds a film about a frantic Chinese-American woman attempting to do her taxes. Evelyn Wang (Yeoh) is investigated, first by the IRS and subsequently by the rest of the multiverse’s great baddies. After Evelyn’s overpowering father, Gong Gong (James Hong), forbade the marriage; she and her husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quan) came to this country to California in search of happiness. Still, their fantasies of a brighter future break by the complexities of running a business and bringing up their children.
Evelyn quickly finds herself slingshotting between “alternative life pathways” in the same manner Neo did. Or are they colliding with her? Bystanders like Deirdre fight between a parallel reality and a dimension-hopping demigod, while a counterpart of Waymond acts as her Morpheus. Evelyn isn’t the One; she’s the Zero, as she quickly discovers. She is the top total of unfulfilled potential and squandered opportunities amid an endless sea of Evelyns. Trust this All at Once Review; no other iteration of herself would have settled for much less or experienced so little pleasure in the people she cares about – especially her daughter.
The cinematography here is so daring and unconstrained that it occasionally feels out of order in such a loving embrace of a picture. The more virtuosically multi-dimensional “Everything Everywhere All at Once” grows, the more plainly its vision calcifies into a limited handful of reassuring truths. Evelyn and her family are lovably distinct characters. It may be annoying when they begin speaking to one other in sentiments; no matter how lovely those platitudes frequently are, in a film that stretches from the origin of life on Earth to the probable destruction of the cosmos itself.