First off, hey everyone!! Long time, no see!
Anyway, I recently watched Everything Everywhere All At Once (have seen it twice now) and it's a really fun film! May not be for everyone but I really liked it. Go see it!
I wanted to point out how criminally underrated this post is. Not only did the absolute All-Star @atxrocker
pop in after years away from the board for a single post then bounce, but did so to promote quite possibly the most exciting film of the year, and potential antidote to all this Marvel malaise.
Everything Everywhere All at Once
Michelle Yeoh is an international treasure; the Meryl Streep of martial arts movies. But even that supposed compliment ultimately proves reductive for Yeoh; she is so much more than a martial arts actor*. Like Streep, Yeoh has an impossibly sweeping range to believably be the only "Bond Girl" to play as Bond's equal, the beating heart of one of the few martial arts movies to break through to become an American mainstream household name, Jackie Chan's fellow Supercop, a meticulously precise geisha mentor, and the Crazy Rich Asian dragon mom who is both menacing and relatable, all with a sublime mix of sensitivity, strength and superb comedic timing. Yeoh might be the only person on the planet who could have made Everything Everywhere's
ambitious and moderately insane premise work.
The fact that Yeoh can carry this film should not be a shock. However, Ke Huy Quan - who most people last saw as Short Round in Temple of Doom
or Data in Goonies
and hasn't been on a big screen since his child actor days more than 30 years ago -
is nothing short of remarkable in his contribution as a seemingly goofy beta-male house-husband who is eventually revealed to be the hinge on which the plot turns.
The film itself defies genre classification. Seemingly a melding of martial arts, slapstick/absurdist comedy, romantic comedy, family drama, religious philosophy, artist spectacle, and superhero films, all interwoven into an immersive and maniacal whole. There is a lot of abject silliness and exposition dumps at the beginning, which slowly evolve into deeper meanings with superb payoffs as the film unfolds.
Perhaps the best example, (and hopefully vague enough to not warrant spoilers) the "villain" of the story is a hyper-aware, godlike entity who can travel the multiverse at will. As omnipotence does, the being becomes bored and begins to dabble in the absurd for entertainment, in this case, putting literally "everything" on a bagel. It's at that moment the entity spirals into nihilism, believing existence has no meaning and going on a multiversal rampage with the "bagel" resembling a zero of nothingness. Eventually, we come to understand the bagel also resembles the enso, or Zen symbol, giving new perspective to the purpose of existence by the end.
Also there's a universe where everyone has hotdogs for fingers.
This movie is overwhelming. Rarely have I dwelled on the philosophic meanings of a film that included a purple sex toy as a fighting prop. This may be simply too absurd and erratic for your tastes, and that's perfectly fine. But films like this need to be supported, otherwise the artform gets static and formulaic.
If you've at all be disapponted by blockbuster films of late, you owe it to yourself and the industry to support films like Everything Everywhere All at Once.
And see it twice.
*I just learned Yeoh supposedly has never been formally trained in martial arts, but knows enough about dance to quickly pickup the moves on set. I suppose that's the martial arts equivalent of learning lines phonetically. What a badass.