The opening night film of this year’s SXSW Film Festival is a brilliant offering from “Daniels,” the mad and visionary filmmaking duo who came up with the wild cinematic insanity that is Swiss Army Man. I went into this exciting beginning of the festival with high expectations, and the eccentric filmmaking partnership did not disappoint. The movie is an amazing and fantastic science-fiction, action/comedy that utilizes the concept of a multiverse, and takes it into places that both the DC and Marvel worlds have never previously gone.
Michelle Yeoh stars as Evelyn Wang, a Chinese-American wife and mother who is the firm, and sensible glue that barely manages to keep her family together, and her family’s business alive. The story begins on a rather stressful day, where her family’s struggling laundromat business is to undergo an IRS tax audit. In addition to the problems she must face on that fateful day, she is also facing more personal troubles with her husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quan), her daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu), and her elderly father Gong Gong Wang (James Hong).
As Evelyn proceeds with what is going to be one hell of a day, she discovers that she is a part of a major multiuniversal problem that could completely destroy the entire fabric of reality. Another version of Waymond contacts her during her painful and awkward audit with IRS inspector Diedre Beaubeirdra (Jamie Lee Curtis). This variation of Waymond informs her that she is the key to saving the multiverse from a cataclysmic disaster. Evelyn attempts to keep it all together, as she learns skills from her otherworld variants that she needs to save the multiverse while keeping her family together and content.
The “Daniels” consists of writers/directors Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert and their latest movie is an extraordinary piece of cinema. Not only is their take on the multiverse absolutely brilliant and exciting, their wild and often unhinged sense of humor makes the entire affair incredibly entertaining. I found the experience exhilarating and uproariously hilarious. The “Daniels” are so fearless when it comes to their comedy, that the scenarios they present are like no others that I have ever witnessed in any movie.
And it is definitely evident that the entire cast in the film are totally on board with the wonderful lunacy that this movie has to offer. Michelle Yeoh delivers a performance here that shows the tremendous range that the story demands. She is a consummate god when it comes to her acting in this role. She handles the drama, comedy, and action exceptionally.
And making his triumphant return to cinema is Ke Huy Quan, an actor who is best known for his childhood roles as Short Round in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Data in Goonies. Quan also delivers a phenomenal performance, as multiple distinct versions of Waymond. I was also wonderfully impressed with Stephanie Hsu, who is also tasked with portraying different renditions of her character. On top of all of this Jamie Lee Curtis offers multiple versions of her character and holds her own exceptionally with the rest of the cast.
I was totally blown away with the ambitiousness of this movie, along with how well the filmmakers and actors pull off everything. Not only is Everything Everywhere All At Once my number one film from SXSW Film 2022, it will remain as one of my favorite movies released this year. I honestly do not know how anyone can top this madly extraordinary movie, but time will tell. Until that next brilliant cinematic release comes my way, I will hold this movie in the number slot for 2022.