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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Criticism: ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ review

Assistant+life+%26amp%3B+arts+editor+Ruben+Hernandez+reviews+Everything+Everywhere+All+at+Once%2C+a+2022+multiverse+science+fiction+film.
Via IMDb

Assistant life & arts editor Ruben Hernandez reviews “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” a 2022 multiverse science fiction film.

To capture the essence of “everything” in a single movie is no easy feat, but with the right production, storytelling and execution, the finished product is impeccably other-worldly. A24’s 2022 film “Everything Everywhere All at Once” manages to illustrate the aspects of what it means to be —  as the title alludes —  everything, everywhere, all at once. A movie like no other, it avoids taking itself too seriously, thus crossing the limitations of what should and shouldn’t be shown in the movie. It also touches upon eight subjects at the same time, not getting tangled up during the process and weaving them all into the central theme of individuality. 

The movie stars the legendary Michelle Yeoh, who plays the role of working Chinese immigrant mother and wife Evelyn Quan Wang, a coin laundry service owner. Her role coupled with other Hollywood legends such as Ke Huy Quan, her husband, James Hong, Evelyn’s father, and Jamie Lee Curtis, an IRS tax collector, along with new upcoming star Stephanie Hsu, their rambunctious daughter, makes for a colorful cast that brings a certain charm to the film. In a movie where each actor keeps changing personalities and characters, the delivery by each actor, even the minor roles that only appear for certain scenes, are performed wonderfully. 

Minor Spoilers

“Everything Everywhere All at Once” balances themes of individuality, legacy, parenthood, generational gap, generational trauma, nihilism, love and empathy. Even with this many themes and messages within a single film, the movie never overwhelms the viewer, even within its two-hour run time. 

The movie captures the viewer in two ways. First, with its unique action-comedy-sci-fi-drama genre, having the viewer either at the edge of their seat, uncontrollably laughing or uncontrollably crying, all within the setting of the multiverse concept. The pace the genres are divided upon never interrupts one another and seemingly flows together, synergizing the sentiments of sequences throughout the film. 

The second way is dividing the movie into three acts: “1. Everything,” “2. Everywhere” and “3. All at Once,” titled respectively. This framing allows the viewer to have a handle of the pacing and doesn’t feel like one act is dragging along in particular. Additionally, it builds anticipation for the next act, creating a sense of wonder for what crazy scene will occur next. With this movie, expect the next scene to one-up the previous one, in all the best ways possible. 

With many great works of art, a simple and word strained definition would give no justice to the real work of art that it is. To some, the movie might seem idiotic and a trippy fantasy-action-comedy with some sappy scenes in the middle, but for others, that stupidity transcends the surface level viewing and stirs a grand hole of existential dread, leaving many speechless with runny noses and watery eyes. While it can’t be decided what the viewer will experience, “Everything Everywhere All At Once”  is certainly a once-in-a-lifetime cinematic experience that will leave you shocked and wanting more.
 

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