Everything Everywhere All At Once

Started by Jeremy Blackman, April 14, 2022, 01:25:46 AM

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Jeremy Blackman

Written & Directed by DANIELS

Saw this tonight, and I'm honestly still putting together my thoughts, so nothing definitive to say yet.

This is a movie that tries to be three things all at once: a comedy, bleeding-edge science fiction cinema, and a touching story about family and the meaning of life. I think it accomplishes those things with varying degrees of success, probably in descending order. You have to respect the ambition though.

I kind of wish the Daniels had saved this movie for later in their careers; I feel like more skill and experience is required to fully stick the landing on this concept. The design of the film is awe-inspiring, but the post-production craft feels a bit off. Something about the editing, maybe. For example, the first major fight scene felt a little tame to me, when it should have been outrageous. It needed sharper editing, louder foley, more camera tricks. If you're setting out to be maximalist, go all the way!

The sentimental/family/philosophical element (apologies for the dismissive label) was laid on pretty thick in a way that didn't quite work for me. The score was a little to pushy. Perhaps this is where maximalism is not the right choice. I definitely got caught up in the emotion of things multiple times, but then the movie just kept milking it, while at the same time struggling to find its own thematic destination.


More maximalist than stylist. No real identity or perspective which is what makes the final act so deflating. After about 120 minutes of wheel-spinning, repetitive climaxes and narrative peaks, and exposition, we amount to nothing more than... trite philosophizing. The "lol nothing matters so just be kind" messaging is almost reductive and regressive. It also feels as if the film is actively trying to combat this message by recognizing its tone-deafness but ultimately enables it.

I understand the reaction the film has earned, and why audiences are projecting since it's a sincere theme and approach but I was underwhelmed personally by its faux profoundity. For every unique sequence, there's immediate dead-air. I agree the first major set-piece lacks outrageous experimentation when it should actually establish the groundbreaking science and scope of what is to come. And I think it's because the film begins with a restless tone and energy and that overwhelming tone never lets up. None of this ambition is very imaginative or witty nor does it extend to the dialogue, humor, or character development.


Huh, I completely disagree! I didn't think it was trite at all, as I found the emotional payoff of the final act so well-earned and delivered. I can't remember the last time a film outside of Almodovar fed me this way. I was pivoting from tear-inducing laughter to actual tears often within a single scene. The technical marvel of it all was insane, like if Gondry and Spike Jonze had twins who started microdosing as tweens, but I was more surprised at how emotionally devastating it all was. The opening fight scene you speak of could have hit harder I suppose, but I saw it as them easing us into the film's language and world. Actually I thought the fights themselves were the least impressive part of it all, designed more for comedy than visceral thrills.

Would definitely recommend a theater for this one.


I stopped before the multiverse thing started to happen. Truly painful, soul sucking, laborious filmaking and writing.


I enjoyed their previous film.
Took me three days to finish this one, couldn't care for it, or sync with its humour.


Sweet sound design and you can imagine how from page to storyboard, to previz and shooting the flick this would be a feat to take on -- accomplished as entertaining and kinetic, and I even felt for Evelyn, but the multiverse jumping felt hollow.

After decades of being Laurie Strode now Jamie Lee Curtis gets to play the stalking otherworldly lurchhaunt.

For all its chosen-one esque plotting I couldn't understand why *Evelyn* discovered this, and I think if it were tied to her persona rather than merely device to her introspecting, we'd have found out more alongside her. Arguably we're led to think that the first Evelyn we meet is the "worst" variant and that's why she's hoping to learn 'new' modalities of herself. But I couldn't tell you if the character in the film realizes that beyond the upload device.

It's the ultimate multiplex-experience commercial for Sentimentality, and because it's wholly entertaining and of-the-times politically, it'll probably win Best Picture.