Rate anything, anywhere, all the time: glamorous, brilliant, and utterly ridiculous

Perhaps the strangest thing about Anything Anywhere Anytimea film in which a notable plot point involves transgression 2001: A Space Odyssey to explain an alternate reality where humans evolved sausages for fingers, which is sometimes are not feel strange. Directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, the film sits at the intersection of a frenzied music video marathon, a humorous martial arts comedy, and a surreal sci-fi satire. But it’s anchored in a serious family drama enhanced by a series of great performances, especially from central star Michelle Yeoh.

There’s a lot going on in Everything is everywhere, but the basic gist is simple. Evelyn Wang (Yeoh) is the owner of a failed laundromat and leads a messy, unsatisfying life. Waymond (Ke Huy Quan), her wonderful husband, has served her divorce papers, the health of her constantly demanding father (James Hong) is gone, and her daughter Joy (Stephanie) Hsu) was frustrated by Evelyn’s cryptic objection. A ruthless IRS agent named Deirdre Beaubeirdra (Jamie Lee Curtis) is examining her, among countless other questionable decisions, asking for a karaoke machine as a tax expense.

Then, as Evelyn is making a last-ditch attempt to save her business, Waymond’s body is suddenly possessed by a partner from one of the near limitless alternate realities. He tells her that she is the only one who can save the multiverse from a threat to destroy reality. And she still has to complete her taxes.

As alt-Waymond admits, the exact mechanics of the multiverse are complex and not always logical. “Fishing jumpers” can use headphones to mess with the bodies of their others, and they can absorb skills from their otherworldly counterparts by performing important actions that set their lives on different paths. (For unexplained reasons, most of these tasks are painful or rough, like cutting paper or eating a dipstick.) This process opens up a mild spiritual bond between partners and partners. For jumpers who push themselves too far, understanding this limitless range of possibilities can lead to a devastating existential crisis.

The set-up gives Kwan and Scheinert a chance to battle their wits between a series of mini-stories and a truly dizzying amount of colorful costume changes, and it justifies a series of bizarre martial arts stunts. basically works on dream logic. Everything is everywhere the fight scenes are more interesting, creative, and better shot than many full-fledged action movies, including those of very cinematic franchise it’s clearly drawing on. (They’re a lot more interesting than most things in the Marvel movies made by the Russo brothers, who served as producers here.)

Yeoh’s main self is a perfectly confused woman who can suddenly perform the incredible acrobatics created by goofy comedy, while her other characters perform. her irresistible charm. Quan dynamically changes between his primordial cosmic self and his superpowered alter ego, with both his tone and body language changing during the transition in a split second. Even Curtis, introduced as a sniper official, is intimidated by one of her many personalities.

Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, Michelle Yeoh, and James Hong in Anywhere Anytime

Everything is everywhere filled with intricate connections and Chekhov’s guns tie together more on an aesthetic level than a narrative. It continuously iterates to build on multiverse details that expand from earlier minor details in the film, including jokes that range from lighthearted to quite complex. (This is a good time to mention that Kwan and Scheinert also directed Swiss Army Mana movie starring Daniel Radcliffe as a plush zombie.) Some of these callbacks feel irrelevant and are based on the Q&A session after the SXSW movie premiere, which is after at least one subplot was left on the cutting room floor. But they help sell the movie’s humor by shooting cinematic references and smut jokes – what if you said, like, everything on a bagel, the man – into stale scenes with visual flair.

Dramatic factors still don’t always add up. Everything is everywhere Sci-fi sequences can be written as if they are marking the time between the absurd, interspersed with gimmicky dialogues that are inconsistent with the more natural and engaging exchanges in the other places. The script is filled with monologues about life and people that sound good in isolation but are thrown about as abruptly as the movie’s costumes, confirming the character’s motivations have not been clearly established before the time. that point.

Even so, the relationship between Evelyn, Joy, Waymond and (unexpectedly) Deirdre builds something sweet to stay. just a clump-free hair. Everything is everywhere individuals are largely archetypes, although archetypes are not commonly seen in mainstream science fiction films. But the film sees them as complementary aspects of a single complex person rather than a multitude of separate entities. There’s no cheap ambiguity about whether any of the events in the movie are happening – the multiverse certainly exists and it contains people whose fingers are definitely sausages – but the array of worlds of it has a fantasy vibe that highlights aspects of the characters’ core selves, making them more than just gimmicks or oddities for its own good.

Stephanie Hsu in Everything Anywhere Anytime

This may be more down to the script than to the cast, who bring consistency to the most absurd scenarios. Quan gives Waymond a resilient flaw that appears even as he drags Evelyn around the multiverse. While Hsu has less screen time as a character in her original universe, she balances being viciously nihilistic and hopelessly lost as one of her alter egos. Joy. Deirdre is legally mean, but – like many real-world idiots – is kind and affectionate.

And in a film that recalls countless earlier films about disgruntled losers who discover they are secret heroes, Yeoh delivers a poignant and magnetic act. Her protagonist is disappointed in life but remains a well-functioning, adult human being surrounded by people with flaws but ultimately kind. Evelyn’s foray into the multiverse is heralded by the way she navigates her multi-generational and multilingual family, her quick dialog switching between Mandarin, Cantonese, and English. One of Everything is everywhere jokes that its protagonist is actually the least-talented version of herself possible, but Evelyn’s interpersonal distances never seem to be jarring – you can believe a few decisions to separate A laundromat is despised from a master chef or opera singer.

For all the bizarre things thrown in Everything is everywhere, Kwan and Scheinert’s riskiest move is arguably choosing a nearly 140-minute run for a comedy built around deliberate tone, a potentially polarizing comedic style, and grueling pace. . Everything is everywhere is a giant skein of a movie, and if it doesn’t work for you, that feeling will last a very long time. If it do However, it could be one of the most ridiculously captivating movies you’ll see this year.

Anything Anywhere Anytime premieres in theaters on March 25 Rate anything, anywhere, all the time: glamorous, brilliant, and utterly ridiculous

Fry Electronics Team

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