“Every rejection, every disappointment has led you to this moment.”Waymond Wang
Perhaps the most joyful exercise in unleashed creativity since Kung Fu Hustle, the multiverse-bending action comedy Everything Everywhere All At Once deserves to be seen by everyone everywhere. Although the film draws inspiration from all manner of pop culture sources, it is neither derivative nor mere pastiche. Rather, the writer-director duo “Daniels” use these as a common language and as ingredients to produce a unique heady concoction that uses the concept of the multiverse to explore the theme of nihilism and how to counteract it. I am loathe to reveal anything more of the plot which unfolds like a vertiginous roller-coaster ride. Unlike their feature debut Swiss Army Man, the Daniels seem now more confident in the emotional weight of their story rather than continually undercutting its tone with puerile humour. Central to this success is a sublime performance from Michelle Yeoh, a veteran of Hong Kong martial arts cinema who deftly adapts to Everything Everywhere‘s variously comedic, emotional and action beats. Returning cinematographer Larkin Seiple (whose CV blends films like I Just Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore with music videos like Childish Gambino’s This is America) delivers visuals that are as much a kinetic assault on the audience as the fight choreography. It can at times be messy and silly, but Everything Everywhere All At Once is, above all, a very welcome breath of fresh air.
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