The Everything Everywhere All At Once team of Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (collectively “Daniels”) wrote and directed the 2022 American absurdist action comedy-drama film Everyone Everywhere All at Once, which they co-produced with Anthony and Joe Russo.
The story follows Chinese-American immigrant Evelyn Wang as she learns during an IRS investigation that she must communicate with alternate realities of herself to stop a strong creature from destroying the multiverse. Michelle Yeoh plays the title role of Evelyn, with supporting performances from Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, Jenny Slate, Harry Shum Jr., James Hong, and Jamie Lee Curtis.
The film combines comedic surrealism with elements from science fiction, fantasy, martial arts movies, and animation, earning it a description as a “swirl of genre anarchy” from The New York Times.
The collaboration between Kwan and Scheinert on this project dates back to 2010, and a decision to move forward with production was made in 2018. Throughout the months of January through March of 2020, principal photography took place.
It broke records at the box office, earning $108 million worldwide and became A24’s highest-grossing film ever, besting Hereditary (2018) in the process.
The film received overwhelmingly positive reviews from film critics, who praised the film’s creativity, storyline, direction, acting (especially from Yeoh, Hsu, Quan, and Curtis), visual effects, costume design, action sequences, musical score, and editing.
Everything Everywhere All At Once Plot
With her husband Waymond, Chinese American Evelyn Juan Wang, who is in her forties, manages a laundromat. They had their daughter Joy twenty years ago, but they had to elope to the United States. The IRS is conducting an audit of the laundry (IRS).
The divorce papers Waymond is trying to serve Evelyn at the same time that her demanding father Gong Gong is in town for her Lunar New Year party is a recipe for disaster. Evelyn introduces Becky to Gong Gong as Joy’s “close friend,” despite her reservations about the lesbian couple.
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Part 1: Everything
Waymond’s body gets invaded by Alpha-Waymond, a version of Waymond from the “Alphaverse,” during an intense encounter with IRS investigator Deirdre Beaubeirdre. Each possible outcome of a person’s actions results in a different universe, as Alpha-Waymond explains to Evelyn.
With the help of the late Alpha-Evelyn, the Alphaverse created “verse-jumping” technology, which allows users to access the knowledge, experience, and physical form of their alternate selves by taking very improbable actions. Jobu Tupaki, the Alphaverse Joy, poses a menace to the multiverse because Alpha-Evelyn encouraged her to verse-hop excessively, shattering her head.
— Everything Everywhere (@allatoncemovie) March 13, 2023
The ability to verse-jump and manipulate matter at will have been added to Jobu’s already impressive repertoire of metaphysical abilities. She’s made a toroid singularity that might wipe out the universe, resembling a black hole, and topped it with everything.
Part 2: Everywhere
Like Jobu, Evelyn’s mind is compelled to verse-hop throughout a variety of strange and unique dimensions. Jobu admits she has no interest in fighting and that she has been killing Evelyn because she believes they lack her perspective on life’s meaninglessness. She tells Evelyn she wants to use the everything bagel to ensure their deaths are permanent, and she brings her there. Evelyn, after looking into the bagel, becomes a nihilist and hurts everyone around her in her alternate realities.
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Part 3: All At Once
One day, once the family’s ties have improved, they go back to the IRS office to resubmit their paperwork. While listening to Deirdre, Evelyn’s thoughts briefly wander to parallel versions of herself and the multiverse, but she quickly regains her footing and returns to the reality she calls home.
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