I had the honor and pleasure of attending the San Francisco premiere of Everything Everywhere All At Once on Sunday, March 20th at the historic Castro Theater with Q&A afterwards with cast members Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, and Stephanie Hsu, directors Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (“The Daniels”), and producer Jonathan Wang.
Michelle Yeoh stars as Evelyn Wang in this film with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 97%:
“When an interdimensional rupture unravels reality, an unlikely hero must channel her newfound powers to fight bizarre and bewildering dangers from the multiverse as the fate of the world hangs in the balance.”
To be honest, I’m not sure I understood what was going on all the time as there is a lot of interplay among different universes and the audio in the Castro Theater was not the best.
Still, it was a fantastic and fun experience in a fully packed theater with Michelle Yeoh fans. I think this NPR review of the film captures my sentiments on the film:
“All this Matrix-style interdimensional hopping, plus the nonstop martial-arts action and in-your-face slapstick, makes Everything Everywhere All at Once an often frenetic viewing experience, and I checked out more than once the first time I saw it. But there are playful ideas beneath that busy surface. Notably, all those other Evelyns seem to be leading more fulfilling lives than Evelyn the unhappy wife, mom and laundromat owner. This is very much a movie about regret and disappointment, about the frustration of feeling that life’s best opportunities have passed you by. It’s no wonder that one of Evelyn’s timelines pays homage to Wong Kar-wai‘s In the Mood for Love, one of the greatest movies ever made about the road not taken.
Adding to that subtext is the casting of Michelle Yeoh, who’s one of Asia’s top stars but, despite some recent supporting roles in Crazy Rich Asians and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, has never had the spectacular Hollywood career she’s deserved. Directors Kwan and Scheinert are clearly trying to rectify that. This movie is as passionate and exhaustive a love letter to an actor as I’ve ever seen, and Yeoh’s performance combines action, comedy, drama and emotion in ways she’s never done before. Ke Huy Quan is working just as hard here as a neglected husband whose reserves of quiet strength Evelyn takes for granted. This is a big comeback role for Quan, whom you may remember as the ’80s child star from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and The Goonies.
For all its cosmic craziness, Everything Everywhere All at Once has a simple emotional message: It’s about how the members of this immigrant family learn to cherish each other again. It’s also about making peace with the life you’ve lived — and the ones you haven’t. And that sort of sums up how I feel about this funny, messy, moving and often exasperating movie: There may be a better, more focused version of it in some other universe, but I’m still grateful for the one we’ve got.”
I thought that Ke Huy Quan was *EXCELLENT* and showed his range in acting in his different characters from different universes. If Quan looks or sounds familiar, it’s because you’ve seen him as a 12-year-old as Short Rounds in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom as well as Data in the beloved and cult classic movie The Goonies.
Like any rational Asian American at the time in the Eighties and Ninties, Quan basically gave up acting and after graduating from USC, spent time behind the camera instead of in front of it, before being inspired by ‘Crazy Rich Asians to get back into acting. Quan’s interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live is a wonderful recap on his re-emergence as an actor:
I’d be really curious to see the film again now only to get a better understanding of the film but also to see how a typical audience reacts.
If you’re a fan of Michelle Yeoh or Ke Huy Quan and of action/comedy/drama mashups, I highly recommend the film. Everything Everywhere All At Once opens nationwide in the US on April 8th.