“Everything Everywhere All at Once” is Everything Everyone Could Ever Want



By Logan Buser

‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ is not only  a benchmark for its studio, A24, but for cinema as a whole. The movie smashed through the studio’s previous box office record of $50 million, set by the Safdie brothers’ ‘Uncut Gems,’ and is on track to break $100 million in revenue. What is even more impressive is that the film completely blows its’ competitors out of the water in every possible way.  Every element of the feature, the cast, the acting, the plot, the themes, the score, the sound design, the visual effects, everything meshes together so effortlessly into one vision. The scope of this movie alone is impressive, as it deals with the extremely broad idea of the multiverse. Yet, the movie stays put together and engaging throughout its two hour run time. Never once did it lose focus or sidetrack itself. The entirety of the film is expertly paced and keeps a strong grip on the audience throughout. I went into the theater with high expectations, and those expectations were exceeded in every single way. The film combines a myriad of different elements that I would never expect to be put together, but it all comes together seamlessly. In brief, ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ is nothing short of a masterpiece.

The greatest part of this movie is without a doubt  the characters and the relationships they have with one another. At its core, ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’  is a family drama, and this is reinforced countless times. In the very first scenes, we are thrown into an instance of the family dynamic, which is the heart of the film. The feature follows the Wang family and their travels through the multiverse. Evelyn, a caring mother who struggles to connect with her daughter, serves as the protagonist of the movie. Waymond is Evelyn’s well meaning but oblivious husband, who immigrated to America along with Evelyn from China. The two would eventually get married and have their daughter, Joy. All the while, the family struggles against maintaining their failing laundromat, managing their taxes, and dealing with a visit from Evelyn’s heavy-handed father, nicknamed “Gong Gong”. As previously mentioned, Evelyn finds it difficult to understand her daughter for a plethora of reasons, the most prominent being her sexuality. Evelyn is cold and callous to Joy’s girlfriend, Becky, and is mostly dismissive of her. Furthermore, Evelyn is ashamed of Joy, even lying to her father and claiming that Becky is “just a friend”. This is merely the tip of the iceberg, however, as the conflict between Evelyn and Joy continues to expand and is what drives a sizable part of the narrative. It is my belief that this movie is best experienced going in blind, so that is all I will say about the plot.

Another outstanding aspect of ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ is the cast and acting. The entire cast does an exceptional job in their respective roles. Michelle Yeoh, who plays Evelyn, and Ke Huy Quan, who plays Waymond, both give oscar-worthy performances, with Quan returning from an enormous 30 year hiatus. Prior to ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’, his last notable role was as Data from ‘The Goonies’ in 1985. Quan being able to hold a candle to Yeoh, and even steal the show at certain points is breathtakingly impressive.  The enormous range of emotion the two manage to portray is just one of many reasons this film is so nuanced and extraordinary. Very few people can hit every beat flawlessly whether it is the action, the emotion, the connection, everything is shown unfiltered and it all feels real. Stephanie Hsu also gave a spectacular performance as Joy, furthering the emotional weight of the relationship between her and Evelyn. As a whole, the movie hinges on the bonds these characters share with each other. Thanks to Yeoh, Quan, and Hsu’s outstanding acting, these relationships are convincing and make the audience care deeply about the characters. 

‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ is without a doubt a great feature. The plot is extremely interesting, the characters are compelling, and the acting is fantastic. But what makes it truly special, truly unique, are all the things that a lot of people may not notice. The attention to detail in each shot, the miniscule set pieces, the subtle shifts in music, everything in the background is what sets this film apart from everything else. The amount of passion and care the Daniels poured into this project is amazing. There are so many tiny details that may seem insignificant, but are sprinkled throughout the whole movie and payoff, sometimes without the audience even seeing. The innumerable it must have taken to meticulously edit and enhance the feature are more than commendable. The production was set on a budget of $25 million, but looks better than almost any other movie I have ever seen. Even other films with triple digit funding cannot achieve anything close to the flawless presentation and fine tuning as ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’. For context, the average MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe movie production budget is $195 million. That is not to say those movies look visually unappealing, in fact, they look great, which makes it even more impressive that ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ can achieve that level of polish with an eighth of that budget. I am completely blown away by the presentation, visual effects, and attention to detail this feature has accomplished.

‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ is unlike anything you have seen, and unlike anything you ever will see again. It is astounding, profound, heartbreaking, and everything in between, all at once. I cannot possibly praise this movie enough, and I heavily encourage you to go and watch it before it leaves theaters.