Everything Everywhere All at Once – the role destined for Michelle Yeoh with a story that is way more interesting than the typical Marvel film


Between Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and a non-Marvel film Everything Everywhere All at Once, I think I’d pick Everything Everywhere All at Once hands down because of its incredibly action choreography, emphatic characters and for being a film with a true heart. The star of the film Michelle Yeoh manages to grace the screen with her action comedy, honed over her many decades of experience, with a character that feels grounded and real.

Michelle Yeoh plays the main protagonist Evelyn Wang, a hapless married mother, who owns a laundromat with her husband Waymond, who is unhappy and looking for a new lease in life. She also has a daughter Joy who feels that her mum doesn’t fully understand nor give her sufficient time or attention, particularly when she feels she has something important to share. Evelyn’s life is dictated by the needs of her customers, business and family needs. There is no time to spare. In one moment, she is reconciling receipts for her tax returns, organizing a celebration for her father’s birthday, trying to discuss a her daughter’s new girlfriend and then trying to keep her business afloat. From Crazy Rich Asians, she is now just Crazy Asian and that somehow works in this film as she is cast as that typical Asian stereotype – working all the time, playing dumb when it comes to taxes, and unable to show love.

Even though Evelyn shows somewhat uncharacteristic (for Asians at least) acceptance of her daughter’s sexuality, it abundantly clear that Evelyn herself is that typical Asian woman of being loud, short and cheap. Her backstory story is shown through her struggles and misfortune. The opening sequences set the film up incredibly well.

Once past the opening sequences, this film starts moving fast and things get weird pretty quickly. There are a lot of moving parts that have the potential to make one’s head spin, but the directors manage to do a decent enough job allowing audiences to stay in tune in a scene long enough to engage and understand what is happening before moving on.

By the time Evelyn is able to start tapping into other versions of herself in different universes, we finally get to see this character become a real powerhouse as she draws power from more and more Evelyn’s. The way she is able to tap into her other lives is fascinating to see thanks to some hilarious pre-conditions to activate the link. It is also cool to see the other Evelyn’s life and drama – it’s nice that the directors give these other Evelyn’s more than just a footnote in the film.

The villain is interesting in terms of who it is and what their goal is. It’s not what I expected at all and it definitely subverted my expectations.

I feel all the characters are excellent. The shocks and the revelations all throughout seemed crazy, yet rewarding. I was especially pleased to see the likes of Jamie Lee Curtis (her role in True Lies and Knives Out) and James Hong (for me, it’s his role in Seinfeld and Kung Fu Panda).

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By the end of the film, I felt a sense of satisfaction. There was a thread throughout the whole story. Evelyn evolves as a person, but so too do the people around her. There is a strong message about “meaning” (in everything) and “acceptance” (of everyone) and of course, a message that maybe things happen for a reason.

The film is now on various digital services, including Google Play, and is out on Blu-ray and DVD.

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