‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ promises to defy tropes in favor of great cinema
The trailer for A24's next big hit has arrived.
Beloved movie house A24 has released the tailer for what is sure to be its next big hit, Everything Everywhere All At Once. The film centers “an exhausted Chinese American woman (Michelle Yeoh) who can't seem to finish her taxes.” But the trailer quickly reveals, as Yeoh goes back and forth with a quippy bureaucrat (Jamie Lee Curtis) who might be possessed (aren’t they all), the film is going to focus on far more than just the existential ennui of living under capitalism. As a googly-eyed logo pops up and a staccato score starts to pulse, things start to unravel — literally, as in the fabric of reality — and Yeoh becomes an unlikely heroine.
Yeoh is dragged into the ether, confronted by her husband from another dimension who needs her help to fight a “great evil.” She shoves him away chirping, “Very busy today, no time to help you,” giving a taste of what seems like will be a wryly comedic undertone to the film’s dystopian multiverse action. The trailer lavishes in artful attention to aesthetics as well, as images very carefully weave between eery and beautiful. It feels like Everything Everywhere All At Once is answering long-awaited calls for an action movie that isn’t drenched in vapid box office-courting cheesiness, and a sci-fi film that isn’t overwrought with emotion to counter the heady ideas.
Directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, collectively known as Daniels, this film feels like the perfect graduation from Swiss Army Man, the absurdist dark comedy with heart that put them on the map in 2016. The film also stars Stephanie Hsu (Shang-Chi), Ke Huy Quan (The Goonies), James Hong (Big Trouble in Little China), and Jenny Slate (Obvious Child), promising a supporting cast that will bring just as much nuance to character roles as the script seems to bring to cinematic tropes.
Yeoh’s centrality in the narrative is such a welcome relief as well. Far too often do we see the average white guy get thrust into heroic roles as a conceit in films — forgoing representation in cinema in order to allow mediocre men to indulge fantasies of grandeur. It’s the marginalized women of society who make so much more sense as unlikely, yet highly capable saviors, and this film seems to have perfectly focused on that idea. Yeoh’s character will have to tap into the stream of consciousness that connects all versions of her through the multiverse to save the very fabric of the universe, a trippy idea that has real poignance in our increasingly disconnected world that could greatly benefit from collective conciseness. As David Bowie’s “Time” soundtracks the end of the trailer, we’re getting some perfectly psychedelic cosmonaut vibes — a genre that it’s about time movies started taking seriously outside of schticky comedy and niche documentaries. The film is set to release March 25, 2022.