Everything, Everywhere, All At Once


Getty Images for SXSW

AUSTIN, TEXAS – MARCH 11: Michelle Yeoh attends the opening night premiere of “Everything Everywhere All At Once” during the 2022 SXSW Conference and Festivals at The Paramount Theatre on March 11, 2022 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for SXSW)

Paolo Acob, Photo Editor

A triumph for the Asian American experience.


Initially declining Marvel Studios’s pitch to direct the next installment of the Spiderman trilogy, the “Daniels,” comprising of two directors of the same name, went on to pursue making their film exploring the concept of the “multiverse.”

“Everything, Everywhere, All At Once,” directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinart, is a multi-genre film exploring the themes of love, family, class, and existentialism. 

Told through the eyes of Evelyn Wang, played by the legendary Michelle Yeoh, the story follows the family of a local laundromat. Yet, the laundromat is not what it seems as the plot turns weird when a multiversal version of her husband Waymond Wang, played byKe Huy Quan, attempts to contact her about an interdimensional threat.

Wang, upon meeting the multiverse Waymond, initially rejects this idea of a “multiverse.”  The “multiverse” explores multiple coexisting universes containing alternative realities different from our own and continues with her day until she begins experiencing racism and classism in her current reality. Wang’s curiosity about the concept increased as she continued to be belittled and demeaned, kickstarting everything.


Joining the Hidden Dragon Crouching Tiger star, Yeoh is accompanied by fellow Asian American actors, James Hong, the voice of Po’s Father in Kung Fu Panda and recently appeared in Disney’s Turning Red as Mr. Gao. 

Harry Shum Jr. also joined the team in an alternative dimension that Wang journeys through. The Crazy Rich Asians star began his acting career early in films like Stomp the Yard, Step Up, Step Up 2, and Glee, but most may know him from his work with Wong Fu Productions on YouTube in 2011.

The YouTube cast is not limited to just Shum Jr. per se, as Andy Le joins the film. Most known for his role in Shang-Chi Legend of the Ten Rings as the “Death Dealer,” Le, along with his team from the notorious Martial Club, began their journey by showcasing their work in YouTube videos. 

After picking up the attention of larger studios to stunt coordinate, Le and Martial Club make impactful cameos in the film’s second act, fighting against Wang to prevent her from reaching the multiversal threat.

Interestingly enough, the stars of Shang-Chi do not end with Yeoh & Le, as Stephanie Hsu plays the daughter of Yeoh’s character, Joy Wang. Being heartbroken by how her mother proactively chooses to make decisions for her, Hsu’s portrayal of the character is so visceral, carrying the weight of an Asian parent’s expectations throughout life. Hsu’s performance as Joy left audience members speechless as she captivated the audience every moment she was on screen.

Not too short of a cameo, but rather a key component to the story is Ke Huy Quan, who plays Waymond Wang, Yeoh’s husband in the film. For this monumental return to acting, many may remember Quan from his role as “Short Round” in the 1984 film “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” as well as “Goonies,” which were his last appearances in feature films before his nearly 40-year hiatus. In an interview with GQ, Quan said that he felt comfortable returning to acting because of the 2018 film “Crazy Rich Asians.” The cast can feel the value of Quan’s presence throughout the film, as his character plays a pivotal role in the conflict against Jobu Tobacky, the antagonist of the film. 

With Quan’s return, it has opened a new realm of possibility for Asian-American artists everywhere.

All At Once

The A24 film overall was tremendous, as its upbringing fueled most of the hype, being that “the Daniels” initially turned down an opportunity to direct Spiderman: No Way Home, but the duo was also approached for other Marvel installments such as “Loki.” 

The Daniels’ bold decision in turning down what would be an obvious yes for some directors led them to create their own science fiction film that broke boundaries beyond the genre, exploring existential dread, family animosity, and even the potential possibilities of different life choices leading to other outcomes in life, they have proven unstoppable.

Making $8.4M at the box office, Everything, Everywhere, All At Once holds a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, creating speculation about whether this film is a potential candidate for the Academy Awards Best Picture of 2022.

Favoring the approach of using practical effects for special FX shots in tandem with masterful editing allowed this entire masterpiece to come together cohesively, all at once.