In 2016 directing duo “The Daniels”, made up of Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, blasted onto the indie film scene with their crazy wonderful film Swiss Army Man featuring Daniel Radcliffe as a corpse. It was inventive, creative, and thoroughly original, showcasing the talent of the Daniels not only as visionary directors but as compelling storytellers.
Fast forward six years and The Daniels have another wide release hitting theaters. It is another wholly original story with a diverse cast of knockout performances from new and old faces. If there ever was a film to show Hollywood and rally audiences around original films without reliance upon existing IP, this is the one.
Everything Everywhere All At Once is a science-fiction, action, adventure full of drama and emotion. The film seeks to explore the themes of generational trauma, xenophobia, and the placement of googly eyes all the while as a woman learns to travel the multi-verse.
Starring Michelle Yeoh as Evelyn Wang, Ke Huy Quan Waymond Wang, and Stephanie Hsu as Joy Wang, the family owns and operates a laundromat that is being audited by a hilarious Jamie Lee Curtis in somewhat of an avant-garde performance as the feisty IRS agent Deidre. Evelyn is so caught up in her failing business and trying to make her father proud, Gong Gong played by the always great James Hong, that she has become emotionally distant with her husband Waymond and her daughter Joy. The first few scenes are the misconnections between the characters, but when Waymond reveals that he is from the future and has come to warn her of an evil force threatening the multiverse, it kicks off a series of events leading Evelyn on a course of rediscovering her love of life and reconnecting with her husband and daughter.
Analyzing the life of an immigrant, mother, wife, and daughter all expertly played by Yeoh is emotionally fertile ground and fantastically realized by the Daniels. Blending genres like martial arts, sci-fi, and comedy, they are able to tell a complete and compelling story that will undoubtedly go down as one of the most visually unique films in recent history. To call this a masterpiece is not hyperbole or recency bias, it’s the truth.
5 out of 5