I WOULD RATHER WATCH ANYTHING, ANYWHERE ELSE
A REVIEW By Danielle Hargraves
I had very high hopes for the award-winning movie Everything Everywhere All at Once, directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, but my expectations were not met.
The beginning was promising, with Michelle Yeoh playing Evelyn Wang, a Chinese-American immigrant who owns a laundromat alongside her husband Waymond Wang, played by Ke Huy Quan. Evelyn is a work-centered woman with trouble showing affection. Her and Waymond make an eclectic couple, with him being meek and friendly.
Due to Evelyn’s headstrong nature, her relationship with her and Waymond’s daughter Joy, played by Stephanie Hsu, is strained at best. The movie begins with Joy bringing her girlfriend to visit for Chinese New Year.
This is where the confusion began for me. Shortly after Joy brings her girlfriend to Evelyn and Waymond’s apartment above the laundromat, Joy, Evelyn, Waymond, and Evelyn’s father have a meeting with Diedre, and IRS inspector played by Jamie Lee Curtis, to go over tax returns for the laundromat.
During this meeting, twists and turns ensue that send the plot spiraling into the depths of Hollywood’s wildest imaginations.
Personally, I love the premise of this film. Every decision someone makes creates a parallel universe in which they made different choices, creating an overlapping spiderweb of worlds where you could be the same person with a completely different life. The execution, however, was not my cup of tea. I like movies where I can clearly follow the plot. Some confusion is fine by me, but there wasn’t a second where I could pause and have a concise understanding of what was going on.
The villain, Jobu Topaki, was one of the only things I understood. While the reveal of who they actually were was predictable and didn’t surprise me at all, I like the trope they picked for them. This ‘mystery’ character is able to hop through universes or ‘verse jump’ at will, and is able to experience them all at once.
Jobu Topaki created what they called the ‘everything bagel’, a black-hole like object seasoned with everything in the multiverse. Though there is supposed to be a deeper meaning behind it, the bagel just seemed silly to me. In fact, the entire movie seemed silly and tangled. Personally, I don’t love having to inspect each and every aspect of a movie to find the hidden meaning, even down to googly eyes.
Everything Everywhere All at Once has won many awards since its release. While I can see why critics and movie fanatics would like it, I didn’t love it at all. Simply put, it was confusing. Due to the too-twisty plot, this film earns a 2 / 5 star rating.