Marvel could learn from Everything Everywhere All at Once for the MCU

Marvel could learn from Everything Everywhere All at Once for the MCU


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Sometimes a title says it all.

The latest entry to our rolling list of the best films of 2022, Everything Everywhere All at Once is a delicious potpourri of genres, from frat comedy to generational drama. It begins with a relatively straightforward plot: Can a mother and daughter learn to appreciate their conflicting worldviews? But instead of taking the most direct path from point A to point B, Everything directors The Daniels scribble their way around the map, stretching the journey across a multiverse more human and relatable than the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Instead of a superhero, we follow a laundromat owner mid-audit by the IRS. Instead of a multiverse of madness, we get a multiverse of sadness (sorry, we can’t help ourselves) as a mother tries to tear down what she perceives to be her daughter’s nihilism. Instead of an action movie devoid of sex and romance, we get a fight scene in which men draw their power from improvised butt plugs, and a story about the profound power of love.

Here’s Tasha Robinson on what makes this the multiverse masterpiece of our time:

“Even in a multiverse of endless possibility, we’re unlikely to see a movie like this again. But at the same time, it means that every moment of Everything Everywhere is an exciting unknown. There’s no predicting where a Daniels project will travel in any given moment: up a character’s ass, or off into their wildest dreams. Sometimes it’s both at once.”

It’s fun to stay up-to-date on the MCU, like watching a juggler adding more and more balls to her performance until it seems impossible so many things can be kept from crashing to the ground. But for all of the attention the creators of the MCU give to story, they seem less and less interested in why they’re telling said stories. What do they have to say beyond the occasional wink at real-world problems? Everything Everywhere All at Once could be accused of trying to say too much. But frankly, we’ll take that over the alternative.

If you’re comfortable going to a theater, the film has our full-throated recommendation. And if you’re not comfortable stepping into the nearest cineplex, that’s okay, too. We curated our five favorite movies starring Everything Everywhere star Michelle Yeoh. All of them are available on streaming services from the comfort of your home!

One final note: Whether or not you watch Everything Everywhere All at Once, you should read our interview with the legendary and prolific James Hong, who once again gives an unforgettable performance in the film. At 93 years old, Hong is still doing some of his best work.