It’s been said that there are two types of movies: movies that copy, and movies that are destined to BE copied. It’s also an open secret that for the past 50-some years, Hollywood is content to just copy. They keep churning out the same bland shit, trying to recreate the magic of something that’s actually creative.
But usually the truly creative content comes from a smaller studio, or a new director, or a fresh writer. Once THOSE movies are successful, Hollywood just copies the formula. Because God forbid they try to come up with original ideas. They don’t go looking for gold, they just rush in once somebody else finds it. And it’s frustrating as fuck. I’ve given up all hope that the big studios will ever make good, long-lasting, original content – 90% of their output is garbage and I fucking hate it.
Thankfully… We have A24, the last bastion of independent cinematic creativity in the modern era. And man have they delivered with Everything Everywhere All at Once. This is the sort of film that is destined to be copied. It is mind-blowingly original – watching it was like watching The Matrix for the first time. Everything about it is so phenomenally absurd, hilariously memorable, and batshit crazy… It makes you wonder ‘why haven’t people ALWAYS made movies like this??’
The truth is, people HAVE made movies like this before. From Fellini’s 8 ½ to Monty Python to David Lynch… These sorts of groundbreaking exercises in surrealist insanity are out there. And they’re becoming more mainstream, thanks in large part to A24, Jordan Peele, and others who are crazy enough to defy the system and make something CREATIVE! What a fucking concept! (I’ll also grudgingly credit WandaVision for making surreal TV mainstream…)
I’m actually concerned for Daniels (the duo who directed Everything Everywhere All at Once). Imagine coming up with one of the most fantastically innovative cinematic adventures of the 21st century, something that’s destined to become a cultural icon, something that will be in history books about film 100 years from now. Now imagine that, for the next 10 years, every big studio is just going to copy you (without admitting as much). And as much as you try to take it as a compliment, you can’t help but feel robbed, because-
Actually, I should just review the movie. Enough ranting about the state of modern cinema. I’ll take a cue from the directors and be more optimistic in the face of the seemingly irreparable futility of life. I suppose that
if when Hollywood decides to just copy Everything Everywhere All at Once, at least they’ll be copying something worthwhile.
I actually won’t give much away about the plot, because you really just need to watch it. General premise: Parallel universes. Family. Chaos. Nihilism. Dildos. Bagels. Michelle Yeoh. Laundry. Taxes. Fingers. Rocks (amazing scene). Googly eyes. Insanity. Everything. Everyonce. All at Where.
In terms of the cast – Michelle Yeoh is great, don’t get me wrong, but I want to give a shout-out to the other actors. Specifically Stephanie Hsu and Ke Huy Quan. Both of them deliver powerhouse performances that rival, if not surpass, Yeoh’s. Every actor is excellent, not surprisingly (especially Jenny Slate, whose brief cameo with her dog is hysterical). But the main trio is at the top of their game. Ke Huy Quan in particular has pitch-perfect comedic timing, which complements the drama superbly.
I hate being that guy who’s like ‘you HAVE to watch it’, because at the end of the day, it’s just a movie. But it’s easily the most mainstream, crowd-pleasing, laugh-out-loud modern spectacular that you’ll see this year. Enough reviewing – just go watch it! Stick it to the big studios and spend your money on something good!