EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE Review - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Alexander Wallace joins us from the Alphaverse.
Everything Everywhere All at Once is a movie that has totally earned its title. As a narrative, and as an experience, it is simply so goddamned much. It’s an immigrant story and a family story and a twisting, turning story of interdimensional shenanigans that rivals anything Blake Crouch has written. I’ve waited to review it - maybe a month, by now - just because I have a hard time figuring where to begin.

As I may have mentioned elsewhere on Warped Factor, I am a Filipino-American through my mother (my father is white, a mixture of Scots-Irish, German, English, and French, if you’re curious). Despite the family around which this film revolves is Chinese-American (and we Filipinos are really the odd ones out of the region - we don’t read Confucius and we don’t use chopsticks), I felt intensely seen by the way it portrays Asian immigrant culture. There’s the cascading consequences of the differences in morality between East and West. There’s the somewhat stilted, oftentimes idiosyncratic way the family communicates that is just too familiar. There’s the dogged determination to just make it in this country, damn the costs (or the pain it will inflict).

Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, and Ke Huy Quan bring to life an all-too-believable immigrant family. All the tensions I discuss in the last paragraph are dramatized as they navigate their laundromat’s auditing by the Internal Revenue Service (I’d reckon they wouldn’t be a fan of the recent expansion). They play off each other very well, and the dialogue felt very authentic to that particular experience.

But none of that is quite so flashy as when the multiversal insanity comes knocking on the door. My understanding is that it was done on a relatively small budget for the industry, but it’s totally spellbinding and should make Doctor Strange run for his money. I hesitate to say too much, just to let you experience it without preconceptions, but it goes to so many wild, wonderful places.

Everything Everywhere All at Once is a triumph (and I know I have a tendency to overuse that word). It’s my sister’s favorite movie, and she’s no film buff. It’s a hell of a lot to take in, but it’s worth taking in absolutely all of it.

Alexander Wallace is an alternate historian, reader, and writer who moderates the Alternate History Online group on Facebook and the Alternate Timelines Forum on Proboards. He writes regularly for the Sea Lion Press blog and for NeverWas magazine, and also appears regularly on the Alternate History Show with Ben Kearns. He is a member of several alternate history fora under the name 'SpanishSpy.'

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