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The Echo
Taylor University, Upland, IN
Monday, June 24, 2024
The Echo
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‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ truly does everything

The “Best Picture” winner is truly a spectacle

The Ninety-Fifth Academy Awards saw most of the larger Oscars gobbled up by one behemoth of a film. The latest and greatest A24 film, “Everything Everywhere All At Once” (2022, rated R) managed to sweep up seven Oscars this year.

“Everything Everywhere All At Once” follows a dysfunctional family of Chinese immigrants struggling to pay their taxes. The characters soon discover that a great evil threatens the multiverse that they reside in, and must overcome their differences to quell the omniversal threat.

This film was acted incredibly well. Everyone in this movie really brought home the bacon when it came to the emotional highs and lows that this film advertises. No character in this film felt over-acted, which is an issue that most modern films seem to have.

Each character seemed to hold a different lesson and brought an important key to the understanding of the plot in a very clear and concise way. 

Arguably, the best actors in the film were both Oscar award winners: Michelle Yeoh playing Evelyn Quan Wang, and Ke Huy Quan as Waymond Wang. The powerful mother-father duo brings a solid contrast to each other that helps color in the rest of the cast. 

That isn't to say that the rest of the cast was bad, because they were all incredible. The emotionally tormented daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu) felt real and guttural without being stereotypical. 

On the other hand, it felt like Gong Gong (James Hong) had the least attention given when it comes to character development. There was a brief scene near the end where he had some redemption, but was overall stagnant most of the film.

One way this film didn't hit was the structure. For some of the scenes, it felt as though it was seen earlier in the film. There were a lot of parallels when it came to the many fight scenes in the film. There were plenty of them, and they were choreographed incredibly, but it felt as though most of the combat was overused and only there to look flashy or pad the runtime. 

Some of the emotional beats felt a little drawn out as well, such as the three separate scenes where there is reconciliation between Evelyn and Joy. However, there were separate plot pieces that were introduced that felt necessary, albeit spaced unevenly. 

Toward the end of the film, it seemed like the directors (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, lovably termed “The Daniels”) had a lot of character to flesh out with little time to do so. It felt very back and forth at times with all the cuts to and fro the universe where Evelyn and Waymond never met. The film kept coming back to this moment for more emotional dialogue, something else that felt repetitive.

Taking a look at this film from a Christian perspective can be tricky. The film doesn't have largely any Christian themes, but something could be said of how the film makes a big point of loving people regardless of generational or cultural gap.

A great Bible verse that applies is Romans 12:9-10: "Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves." 

Generally speaking, the characters learn at the end that being kind and loving each other even when they don't agree is more powerful than any multiversal travel or supernatural ability, which is a great message for modern Christians to learn, too. 

Overall, “Everything Everywhere All At Once” was a solid piece of cinema that tells multiple stories in a clear way, with incredible acting, stellar cinematography and a pleasing score. There were elements of this film that succeeded more than those that failed.

Is this film worth a rewatch? Maybe, if someone so desires to really weird out their friends. Who is this movie perfect for? Someone younger who needs a good laugh (and maybe a good cry), that wants to learn a little something about loving people in every universe. To wrap it all up, “Everything Everywhere All At Once” earns a solid 8.5 out of 10.

Agree with me? Disagree? Wanna talk about this film? Any film? Suggest one? Feel free to email me at devin_smith1@taylor.edu.