“Everything Everywhere All at Once” parachutes into Martha’s Vineyard Film Center on Good Friday and Passover, April 15. This wacky movie is said to land as an explosive mix of sci-fi, fantasy, and comedy. Directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, known collectively as the Daniels, the film stars Michelle Yeoh as Evelyn Wang, who runs a Southern California laundromat with her husband Waymond, played by Ke Huy. Quan, who is about to divorce his wife.
Malaysian-born Yeoh, best known for ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ and more recently ‘Crazy Rich Asians’, would give a tour de force performance as Evelyn. Quan, originally from Vietnam, built his reputation as a child actor in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.” Others in this family film include Evelyn and Waymond’s daughter, Joy (Stephanie Hsu), and Evelyn’s father, Gong Gong (James Hong). Joy, a high school dropout with a girlfriend, explores a contentious relationship with her mother. Gong has arrived from China for the Wangs’ Chinese New Year party, and Evelyn is reluctant to let Gong know that Joy is gay. In the meantime, the Wangs’ laundromat is audited by IRS bureaucrat Deirdre Beaubeirdra (described as an entertaining Jamie Lee Curtis).
The rest of the film veers from a conventional plot to a multi-universe whack sci-fi comedy featuring hot dog fingers, a piano playing with its feet, a piñata at a children’s birthday party, and a Giant Bagel as Hitchcockian MacGuffin. For starters, Waymond transforms into a sci-fi action fighter.
Evelyn finds herself entering a multi-universe with wireless headphones to battle the evil, power-crazed demon Jobu Tupaki (played by Hsu), as the only one capable of doing so. The question arises whether linear time still exists for them, as Evelyn bounces from one surreal universe to another, based on the choices she has made. In one, she became a kung fu action star; in another, she rides a roller coaster into a knife-wielding hibachi chef. Or she can be a rock talking to another rock.
As Vanity Fair reviewer Maureen Ryan says of Meaning, Truth, Grace, or Love, “This film uses absurdity to explore these ideas… But when it’s on its game A – and with this cast it often is – it’s anything but grim.” This reviewer hasn’t been able to see it yet, but is looking forward to it.
Information and tickets for “Everything Everywhere All at Once” are available at mvfilmsociety.com. Information on films playing at Edgartown Cinemas is available at entertainmentcinemas.com/locations/edgartown.