Everything Everywhere All at Once, spoiler free

John Davis, Staff Writer

With the popularization of extended movie franchises such as Marvel, DC, Star Wars, and more, creative filmmaking has continued full steam ahead towards possible extinction. However, certain films, such as Everything Everywhere All at Once, have the potential to re-open the door to uniquely creative movies.

The movie is directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, commonly known as “The Daniels,” a filmmaking duo. They are most known for the film “Swiss Army Man” and, funny enough, also directing the “Turn Down for What” music video back in 2014.

Although being marketed (though very little at all) as a multiverse film, The Daniels described the movie as being about “generational love.” While the plot leans heavily into the genre of science fiction, this movie at its core is about family and emotion.

Michelle Yeoh, who you may recognize from Crazy Rich Asians (2018), stars in the film as Evelyn Wang, a middle aged Asian-American woman living above the laundromat she runs with her husband, Waymond. Ke Huy Quan, who you may or may not recognize as Short Round from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, plays Waymond. Accompanying Waymond and Evelyn is their daughter, Joy, played by Stephanie Hsu. Hsu played a minor role in Marvel Studios’ Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

A few big-name actors and actresses are in the film as well, including Jamie Lee Curtis playing an IRS tax collector and James Hong playing Evelyn’s father, who is referred to as Gong Gong.

The film is an absolute rollercoaster from start to finish. While the viewer is led to believe the plot is heading in one direction, the film repeatedly makes twists and turns that will not let you look away. Multiple iterations of every character are in the film, requiring brilliant displays of acting from Yeoh, Quan, and Hsu who make this narrative seamless.

The movie explains the multiverse theory via the butterfly effect. When someone makes a decision, this creates a new universe where the inverse was selected. Something as simple as tying your shoes can 20 seconds later alter the entire course of the rest of your life. Tragically, the Evelyn Wang we are introduced to at the beginning of the film is the only Evelyn to never seem to make the right decision.

The film introduces the antagonist, a mysterious hooded figure with a specific vengeance for every universe’s Evelyn Wang. The film is heavily inspired by The Matrix which is made present very early on in the film. Throughout the story, Evelyn is shown what her life could have become in every alternate scenario to what her life is so far. She begins to regret her marriage, her immigration to the US, and every minuscule decision she has made thus far. 

However, throughout the film, we go through complete character studies of both Evelyn as well as the antagonist. The movie deals with underlying trauma, anxiety, acceptance, and so many more important human values that are looked past today. Evelyn is faced with saving the multiverse, her relationship with her husband, and the bond with her daughter.

The storytelling and writing from The Daniels is something that cannot go unrecognized. The way that the narrative balances human emotion with a convincingly-realistic multiversal story is something that I have never seen before.

This movie was 100 percent not what I was expecting and I am so thankful for it. Elements like comedy, science fiction, and drama are all beautifully interwoven into a 2-hour, 20-minute masterpiece.

Creative filmmaking is beautiful, and this film doesn’t deserve the lack of publicity it’s received by the public. This film is for anyone and everyone, and that’s what makes it so special.

Go see this movie.