Everything Everywhere All at Once

Everything Everywhere All at Once ★★½

I went back again, partly out of duty to my wife, who wanted to see it, and partly out of duty to myself, to try to understand what it was that didn’t work for me the first time around. And it did make more sense to me this time, but I still can’t find my way to thinking this is a movie that really pulls its many, many threads together as well as popular opinion seems to suggest it does. There’s a lot here that I should like: original ambition and ingenuity and a genuine curiosity about the world from perspectives we rarely, if ever get to see. But there’s a weird combination or chemical imbalance here that just feels off to me. It’s the preening self-awareness, the heavy-handed exposition, and the over-the-top-sentimentality. Any one—or even two—of these things would be palatable, but the combination of all of them, plus the ironic distance that the filmmakers try to maintain from all of them as they try to have their cake and eat it too, just felt unsatisfying to me. Still, I’m happy for others to enjoy the hell out of this. Upgraded by a half-star.

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