Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan (director)
13 May 2022 (released)
Where to start with this remarkable film which while wrapped around and threaded with quantum physics and multiverses has at its core a very warm human story.
A dazzling opening shot takes the viewer into the heart of the Wang family were wife and mother Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh) is trying to keep the family laundrette business ticking over while pouring over endless paperwork. She’s by turns having to give and pay attention to her grumpy father played by James Hong, her daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu) and her loving if wishy-washy husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quan). The pressures are enormous coupled with having to deal with the laundrette locals who have their own demands.
Adding even more pressure is an IRS audit by a particularly officious agent played by Jamie Lee Curtis. However the real complications start when her husband appears to be taken over from a person from another dimension with a warning that things aren’t what they appear and that she has the fate of her world and the universe in her hand.
We are whisked from dimension to dimension developing the story as it goes through very strange encounters, excellent effects and fight scenes the likes of which we haven’t seen for a while. Through this maelstrom Evelyn also comes to learn more about herself and her family; those things she suspected weren’t quite right, were closer to the surface than she thought.
This is a complicated film with a lot going on and perfectly summarised by the title. The simplest way to get a handle on it is just sit back and enjoy it. It all falls into place quite simply so beautifully paced is it by writers and directors Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan as we grapple with the multiverse.
I’m not in a physicist but my guess is that this film is grounded in hard scientific speculation rather more than the fantastical Dr Strange. At times it reminded me of Family Guy and Stewie who occasionally dabbles with time travel and the multiverse. It therefore possible that if you have some sort of background in physics you may just get a little more out of it.
The main thing however is that for all the tech and science the films has a gorgeous heart, beating full of joy and humanity of love and respect. And it is just so much fun.