‘The Daniels’ deliver a triumphant second
By Lily Isakson-Bell, Reporter
“Everything Everywhere All At Once” has the potential to be the best movie of 2022, even though we’re only half way through the year. I would be surprised if I didn’t see this movie at the Oscars.
The creators of “Everything Everywhere” are a directing duo named “the Daniels” made up of Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. The two are best known for their 2016 movie “Swiss Army Man.” “Everything Everywhere” I would say is quite different from “Swiss Army Man” because one is about a man dragging a dead corpse around an island while the other is about a mother-daughter bond. However, one thing that both movies do have in common is demonstrating a meaningful relationship despite the absurdity of the plot that swirls around it. The Daniels are quite good at having fun without completely derailing the plot.
“Everything Everywhere” is told in parts, each aptly titled Everything, Everywhere, and All At Once. The first part, Everything, holds a very mesmerizing-to-watch air of domestic chaos. Evelyn (played by Michelle Yeoh) and her husband Waymond (played by Ke Huy Quan, best known for “The Goonies” and “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”) own a laundromat. She has a fast-approaching tax audit, and her father who disowned her when she moved to America with her husband is coming to visit for his birthday, all while Waymond is trying to file for divorce. On top of all of this, Evelyn still has no idea how to deal with her college-age daughter Joy’s lesbianism, and her daughter’s girlfriend Becky. While the drama that envelopes Evelyn’s regular day-to-day is the main focus of the first third of the movie, there are still little hints strewn throughout that are indicators of the world-bending sci-fi that’s to come. From futuristic technologies that aid the main characters in jumping universes, to Joy and Evelyn almost walking into a gigantic, glowing bagel, the sci-fi remains some of the most creative I have ever seen.
All together, “Everything Everywhere” is a stunningly genre-bending film. It would be a disservice to both Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan’s formal martial arts training to not call this movie an action movie, however the pit of the story is mother-daughter love and reconciliation. The love woven throughout this movie’s story makes it heartfelt and a tearjerker, while the multiversal themes make it very sci-fi. The familial dynamics and set-in-reality moments make it a drama, while the boyish fun you can tell the Daniels had while writing and the absurdity in some scenes bring it close to a comedy. Truly, this movie has something for everybody. I watched this in theaters with my mom who prefers dramas, and my dad who favors war movies, and they both really loved it.
If you want to know if you should watch this movie, I say absolutely yes. And with a 96% Rotten Tomatoes score, and having just recently surpassed Uncut Gems’ domestic box office gross of $50 million to become A24’s highest performing movie at box office, I’m sure that I’m not alone in this opinion.