Watching a film in theaters is a special thing. You enter the cavernous showroom, sit down in your comfortable seat amongst other eager moviegoers and relax to enjoy what’s ahead of you. After a number of trailers and previews, the room goes completely dark. You are immersed in the darkness, patiently awaiting the images you will experience on the screen ahead of you. You hope to be transported to new worlds, to empathize with complex, developed characters and to experience a story that changes your view on the world. Most movies fail to accomplish these things, but once every few years, something special comes to theaters.
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” is something special.
This is only the second feature film directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, their first being “Swiss Army Man” (2016), but there is absolutely zero sense of inexperience in “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”
This is one of the most meticulously crafted films in recent memory — in its editing, direction, cinematography and costume design. Creatively, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is unmatched. There are many things that some viewers may find outrageous and bizarre, but that is the fun of the film. This movie will make you laugh hysterically with all of its extravagance and ridiculousness, but the movie has a strong emotional core, so much so it may make you cry.
It is that balance that makes this film so impressive. The directors, who call themselves “the Daniels,” were able to craft the tone of the film perfectly, finding the perfect balance between comedy and family drama that works incredibly well. Though it will have you cackling in laughter, there is a heaviness to the concept of this film. “The Daniels” explore a number of existential themes, diving into life and reality amidst an action-comedy.
The cinematography, editing and costume and production design are unbelievable. There are so many artistically crafted shots and compositions in this film, with complex camera movements and visual effects work. The editing will leave you in awe, making you question how the directors and crew executed a number of their shots. The action scenes are exquisite, with focused direction and design, never letting the audience miss a beat of action.
There really is no way to describe this film. It has elements of “The Matrix” and perhaps a bit of “Inception,” but it is so much more than that. To define this as a sci-fi action-comedy would be far too narrow of a description. This is as much a drama as it is a comedy, as much an action film as it is a sci-fi, as much a character study as it is a commentary on life. This film goes from having the most outrageous action sequence to having one of the most beautifully written and orchestrated dialogue scenes you’ve ever seen. You simply could not ask for more in this movie.
If I were to have a gripe with anything in this film, I would say it doesn’t go in-depth or wrap up neatly all the existential concepts it brings up. However, that is not too problematic, as the film is largely character-driven, with this existentialism in the background.
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” is the best film to release in theaters this decade and it deserves every bit of praise and attention it is earning. Watching this film is simply a spiritual experience.
I cannot give “Everything Everywhere All at Once” a stronger recommendation. Get a group of friends or family together and go see this film. This one is special.