‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ tackles multiverse in mind-bending, heartfelt masterpiece

Ryan Ranc, Life & Arts Reporter

This article contains spoilers for Everything Everywhere All at Once.

No one can do everything and be everywhere all at once, and “Everything Everywhere All at Once” proves just that.

Hollywood’s recent fascination with the multiverse comes through clearly in A24’s “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” which stands on its own dimensional level in comparison to the rest of Hollywood’s IP-laden multiverses. The film, which premiered March 11 at South by Southwest and will hit theaters nationwide April 8, accomplishes that mission through the heartfelt story of Evelyn Wang and her family. Evelyn gets wrapped up into a mission to save the multiverse from her daughter of an alternate universe or see everything everywhere crumble around her all at once.

This movie’s plot is pure sensory overload but in the best possible way. Just like the multiverse, the movie displays and explores an infinite amount of messages, including love, what makes life meaningful and self-confidence. Due to the mixture of comedy and meaningful storytelling, the daunting two-hour and 26-minute runtime seems incredibly brief to cover the vastness of the worlds set before audiences, but the creators manage to explore every universe, character and consequence of universe hopping.

Throughout the film, universe hopping behaves differently than typical multiverse movies. Rather than characters only being able to travel to alternate timelines, characters can grab abilities from versions of themselves in different branches of the multiverse. The technicalities of this process exemplify the creator’s comedy and weirdness balanced with the heaviness of the topics such as familial discourse and self-worth.

The actors’ heartfelt performances and delivery make the incredibly strange plot appear feasible. Stephanie Hsu, who plays Evelyn’s daughter Joy, and Ke Huy Quan, who plays Evelyn’s husband Waymond, stand out in particular, flexing their skills as both protagonists and antagonists in different universes. The actors play both the character of their universe and the alternate versions of themselves with alternate universe Joy being the antagonist and alternate universe Waymond being Evelyn’s multiverse mentor. Evelyn, played by Michelle Yeoh, offers one of the best character arcs of any movie. Jamie Lee Curtis plays a hilarious henchman to Hsu’s antagonist, Joy.

Every A24 movie uses experimental and beautiful cinematography. Every scene in “Everything Everywhere All at Once” could be a wallpaper on a computer or an exhibit at an art museum because of the details poured into every shot and the magnificent array of colors on display. Director of photography Larkin Seiple deserves a lot of credit for bringing the writer and director’s chaotic and inane vision to life from wide shots of two rocks in a canyon to a character close-up in which they transform bullets into googly eyes.

“Everything Everywhere All at Once” takes the multiverse to the next level in an insane showcase of talent from the entire cast and crew. It’s an emotional journey about what it means to be human and what it means to appreciate life. Although it may be too early to say, this movie deserves a shot at best picture in the 95th Oscars next year.

5 googly eyes out of 5