“Everything Everywhere All at Once” is nothing short of a masterpiece

With comedy, action, sci-fi, and dramatic elements, the A24 film delivers it all

Photo+courtesy+of+IMBD.

Photo courtesy of IMBD.

By Will Duffy, Collegian Staff

It’s not every day that a movie leaves me completely and utterly speechless. It’s not every day that I hear nothing but glowing reviews on Twitter about a movie, saying it’s the best movie of the year and perhaps even the decade-and it lives up to the hype. And it’s not every day that a movie manages to seamlessly blend comedy, action, sci-fi elements, and tearjerking family scenes all into a two hour runtime.

“Everything Everywhere All at Once” manages to do all that and more.

The film follows Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh), a Chinese immigrant who owns a struggling laundromat. Evelyn and her husband, Waymond (Ke Hoy Quan), discover that they’re in hot water with the IRS. On their way to a meeting with the IRS, Waymond’s entire personality suddenly changes. He tells Evelyn that he’s not really her husband, that he’s from another universe and that he needs to save her from a supernatural being called Jobu Tupaki. Evelyn thinks of all this as nonsense until she’s suddenly whisked into another universe. She discovers that her husband is indeed from another universe and has a device that allows him to enter the consciousness of the other versions of himself and absorb all the skills they have such as fighting prowess or lung capacity. Evelyn finds herself on a quest to save not only herself but the multiverse as well from the being, Jobu, who she soon discovers is much closer to her than she thought.

Multiverses in cinema have been done time and time again, but “Everything Everywhere All at Once” explores the concept in a way we’ve never quite seen before. The ability to jump into the other versions of oneself and absorb their consciousness, as well as summon physical objects from other universes, makes for some groundbreaking and spectacular action scenes. We also get to see characters use these abilities to do so much more than just beat each other up.  In “Once,” the multiverse concept is used to tell a myriad of stories at once, all of which are captivating and seamlessly blend into the overall narrative. None of them feel out of place, even the more ridiculous ones like the one involving hot dog fingers. In a touching plot move, the relationship between Evelyn and her daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu) is explored through the multiverse lens, which lends itself to some incredibly heartfelt moments between the two.

Every character in “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is amazingly written and blessed with phenomenal performances from the actor portraying them. The story is not only creative in concept but manages to blow viewers away with how well it is told. Special effects are used extensively, but somehow look better than that of blockbuster Disney movies despite having a much smaller budget. The concept of ‘downloading’ abilities felt reminiscent of “The Matrix,” although “Everything Everywhere All at Once” takes it further by giving us a look at the parallel universes in which the other versions of oneself reside.

A24, as I’ve said many times before, has produced some true gems of cinema, but I think “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is going to stand out as one of their finest achievements. It recently became the number one movie of all time on Letterboxd, an honor it absolutely deserves. There’s not much else to say about this movie that can be put into written words. It’s that good.

Will Duffy can be reached at [email protected]