This one has been written and directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert and has received a massive marketing campaign for its European release whilst also receiving very limited cinema runs in the US but has still generated quite a lot of buzz!
With that being said, the film’s buzz has also transferred well to critics- the film currently stands at 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, so of course I had to give this one a shot, especially considering the concept of one ordinary woman’s multiverse being explored is kind of fascinating in several senses, though this film looked like a by-the-number action film in a few regards, hence why I wasn’t overly excited for this film…
The film is about Evelyn Wang (played by Michelle Yeoh) travelling to a department to have her taxes done, when she is informed by an alternate universe version of her husband Waymond (played by Ke Huy Quan) that she is the most important version of herself and is necessary to take down an evil threat that wants to take down all existence. HUe
Now, I have been honest about what my opinion was going into the film, and so take it on the chin when I thought this film was okay. I wouldn’t go as reverential as other people have done.
So, let’s discuss a few things I like about this film firstly. Michelle Yeoh gives an excellent performance, and I also like part of the story being her relationship with her family, including her father (played by James Hong) who is visiting from their hometown to check up on them. The central relationships are very well handled, in fact, I think that the final act of this film is where it all comes together. The middle portion of this film is where I think it is kind of weak. The first and final act are both pretty good, but the middle portion is treading water a bit and feels like it’s staying in one place. Though, I do think that there’s another few issues. Mainly that I think that the multiverse aspect is quite hard to get a grip on. In fact, it starts out rather simple and resembles the butterfly effect (if you made a decision differently, things may turn out completely differently). The device that her alternate universe husbands gives her even looks like a map/decision tree in a video game.
It then goes into some weird directions; I don’t understand what decisions were made for some of these universes. And believe me, this film goes into some bizarre places! The trailers have only given away some of the weird multiverses. I’m not going to give too many examples, I think that talking about some of the best parts of this film result in me giving away spoilers, and this is a film that you really should go into it as blind as possible.
The action is great in this film, it’s been 22 years since Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, but Michelle Yeoh has proven herself to be a brilliant action star since then and again in this and hasn’t lost a beat in all those years. There’s a reason that when I see that Michelle Yeoh is in a movie I will make a beeline to the cinema to see it! I thought that the choreography and cinematography complemented each other very well, this film is well put together in terms of its action and editing. Where the film lost me was in the fact that it goes a bit too weird… there are moments where it dragged me out of it- there’s a few scenes where I was like ‘You expect me to take this seriously, but you put this on the screen?’ or there were a lot of points where I was confused about what was going on.
The film itself is divided into three parts, and each represent the different parts of the title (everything, everywhere, all at once) but it’s also kind of has a few moments which make me scratch my head- there’s a strange parody of a Disney film partway through that feels so out of place and I’m baffled that it wasn’t cut during the editing process.
However, while I did think this film’s middle act was kind of dragging, its finale has a ton of heart to it, and is probably the strongest part of the film. I’d love to talk about why it’s so good, but I really don’t want to spoil it! This film does have a bit of a stump in the middle, but it does stick the landing.
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