Get ready to get your mind blown! It’s no surprise this film did so well at South by Southwest with a lineup the includes the amazingly talented Michelle Yeoh and Jamie Lee Curtis and many other stars who also steal the show.
While the short synopsis for this film might seem a bit bland, Directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, collectively known as Daniels, the film is a hilarious and big-hearted sci-fi action adventure about an exhausted Chinese American woman (Michelle Yeoh) who can’t seem to finish her taxes. The film is SO MUCH MORE than that.
For the first 30 minutes or so, you’re sitting there being immersed into the struggling lives of this hard-working Chinese American woman who is obviously unhappy with her life, while it seems her family is falling apart at the same time. The funny thing is yes… she’s just trying to get her taxes done. The way this film twists you in a what seems like a virtual reality of multi-universe as they call it in the film is a complete masterpiece; you’re sitting there thinking what exactly am I watching, but you want so much more because you’re trying to figure out what’s going to happen while also trying to figure our what’s the message in this film. It’s an exhilarating and at times exhausting sci-fi infused reflection on the meaning of life.
It was shocking to see the classic Michelle Yeoh take on the role of Evelyn, who is a humble laundromat operator that ends up discovering the multiverse, where she encounters various versions of skills that she must learn to conquer in order to take on a malicious character that funny enough takes on a Star Wars-type name, Jobu Tupaki. This may give you ‘Doctor Strange’ vibes but this film takes it to a whole other level of madness and craziness. Don’t worry you will get a few martial arts scenes that kick some behind!
Early on, we learn that Jobu is an “agent of chaos” by a version of Evelyn’s husband, Waymond; played by Ke Huy Quan, who is a blast from the past for many because he was Short Round from “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”. When Evelyn encounters this version of her husband, he calls himself Alpha Waymond, he informs her that he has managed to figure out how to “verse-jump” from one reality to another, and his mission is to warn her that in each of the parallel worlds, the notorious Jobu has manifested embodied itself in the body of their not-so-happy and not-so-successful daughter, Joy played by Stephanie Hsu.
The infamous Jobu does have instrument of destruction or as many may see it, the Death Star, the catch is that it’s an everything bagel. You can’t help but laugh about it! There are so many scenes that reference classic films and then there are scenes that make you say… was that really necessary. Trust me you’ll see them! But funny enough it all fits in.
Let’s not forget Jamie Lee Curtis who takes on the role of an obnoxious IRS agent, Deirdre Beaubeirdra who honestly is a joke throughout the whole film and not in a bad way. She makes appearances in pretty much all the multi-universes, one where she is Evelyn’s lover and they both have hot dog fingers and another she’s her nemesis. As bizarre as that may sound, it works and it hilarious.
The film is refreshing in such uncertain times, with a message is accepting, letting go of the past and regrets, living for today and not what could have been or what could be. What matters is today, accepting yourself, your family as imperfect as it may all be. Everyone just needs love and nothing matters.
Shani is a writer and social media guru covering local topics. Catch her reviews on trending films and some of the biggest shows to invade Tampa Bay. fashion and the latest celebrity news. Follow @shanivalencia on Twitter