Everything Everywhere All at Once: bonkers. There is no better way, or perhaps no other way, to describe what The Daniels (to wit, Kwan and Scheinert) have conjured with this fantasy action film. It tells a multiverse story to end all multiverse stories, as each world is created as a different decision is made, so for the most part each variation is the direct result of something palpable. Mostly; the film is just too bonkers to narrow itself down too much like that. It drinks from many sources, ranging from Wong Kar Wai to Pixar, and if it sounds a lot, the film nevertheless never ceases to be entertaining and lands emotionally when all is said and done. And that’s what matters the most.
Michelle Yeoh creates a fascinating protagonist: special because she is so pathetic, she accesses other versions of herself; the acting manages that balance beautifully, and of course, she has the added benefit of shining on the many fight sequences. Stephanie Hsu, as her somewhat estranged and sad daughter, gives a very emotional turn as well. Ke Huy Quan, the husband, also has an entertaining fight sequence and manages the multiple versions of his character nicely. James Hong is a solid presence as usual.
The film is, above all, exceedingly well-edited, by Paul Rogers. Yes, he is handed matching shots by the directing team and cinematographer Larkin Seiple (whose work is very, very fine), but he creates the insane pace and all the transitions between the universes. Shirley Kurata’s costume design, in particular for one character, is as zany and colorful as everything else in the film. Production designer Jason Kisvarday creates a number of different worlds each with its particular character.