Martial Arts Multi-Verse–‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ Reviewed
by Tito W. James
While there are many multi-verse stories to choose from Everything Everywhere All At Once is easily the one of most fun.
Everything Everywhere All At Once stars Michelle Yeoh as an aging Chinese immigrant who is swept up in an insane adventure, where she alone can save the world by exploring other universes connecting with the lives she could have led. The film, written and directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (Swiss Army Man), has been getting a lot of buzz on the internet and I was curious to check it out.
With the success of Rick and Morty and Spider-Verse parallel universes aren’t a new concept at this point. What sets Everything Everywhere All At Once apart is how characters access skills and abilities from their parallel lives to improve their fighting skills. The juxtaposition between martial arts and inter-dimensional chaos leads to the most surprising and hilarious moments in the film. The antagonist with abilities reminiscent of Bill Cipher/ Mr. Mxyzptlk only adds to the fun.
However, the interpersonal relationships do get lost into the card-shuffle of the plot. It gets increasingly hard to be emotionally invested in characters that are constantly replaced with alternate versions of themselves from parallel realities. The film attempts to be a grounded drama, absurdist comedy, interdimensional sci-fi adventure, and a martial arts film all at once. It’s quintuple backflip that doesn’t quite land.
Everything Everywhere All At Once has creativity and outrageous humor that set it apart from other stories exploring a similar concept. I don’t think the film lives up to the hype but I hope that its success will inspire more filmmakers to be bold and try something different.