I appreciate this movie for its innovative style, absurd comedy, and exploratory venture into the strange world of the multiverse. Written and directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, it is quite a mix of genres, from comedy and science fiction to drama and martial art. It never feels forced and all genres neatly fit the overall story of jumping between the different universes. The movie is well written and directed, the actors are great and the cinematography is quite beautiful. All in all, it has all the ingredients that make for a great movie which is why I’m so surprised that this movie leaves me absolutely nauseous. The fighting scenes are tedious and just seem to go on and on and on. And they don’t add all that much to the story. Fighting is to this movie what song and dancing is to musicals, you either love it or hate it and the more you think about the dumber it seems. Although, the use of a fanny pack as a weapon was quite refreshing.
Even if the story is pretty straightforward and easy to follow, the implications and paradoxes that arise through the movie’s own premises are not very well explored. Our main protagonist, Evelyn Quan Wang, played by Michelle Yeoh, has to connect with different versions of herself from other parallel universes, in order to keep Jobu Tupaki, played by Stephanie Hsu, from destroying the multiverse with her black hole bagel. So, the idea of the multiverse basically goes like this. Every time you make a choice a new universe is created. This essentially means that when something happens the other possibility also happens and both possibilities continue to play out in their own separate universes. So, this must mean that in one universe Tupaki succeeds in destroying the multiverse but in another, she did not. But how can that be? Feel free to discuss in small groups.
But the bleakest and soul-crushing implication of the multiverse is recognized by Tupaki, and it is the reason why she seeks to destroy it. The multiverse renders EVERYTHING completely, and absolutely meaningless. Your choices never matter whatsoever, because, as we saw earlier, everything that can happen will happen. You think you make a choice but in reality, you did both, and there’s no way around it. Even suicide becomes impossible. Sure you might die in one universe but you will always find yourself in the universe where the gun jams, every god damn time. But other than that, pretty life-affirming movie.