You probably know there’s going to be some great action by the time you get into Everything Everywhere All At Once, as it stars Hong Kong action queen Michelle Yeoh as Evelyn, the matriarch of a Chinese immigrant family. But the film’s early charm as a small family drama lulls audiences into a sense of comfort before unleashing an action-packed prowess never seen in film before – in 2022 or any other year.
After being warned of danger by a multiverse-hopping version of her husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quan, whom audiences may know from an iconic performance decades ago), Evelyn punches IRS agent Deirdre (Jamie Lee Curtis), causing security to arrive on the scene . Then Waymond springs into action, transforming a fanny pack into a makeshift rope dart weapon to great effect.
While a fight scene set in an IRS office with a fanny pack as a main weapon might not seem “epic,” the way the scene is shot gives it great weight — sometimes literally, like when Waymond throws stones out adds a belt pouch to a nearby aquarium to make him heavier and give his attacks more impact. The belt bag is shot in close-up, with the camera running the length of the strap, stopping abruptly at the bag to emphasize the emphasis. The action itself is fantastic, the fight choreography is reminiscent of Hong Kong martial arts classics and the camera movements allow the audience to see every nose-snapping move.
The sequence is a great scene for its mix of humor and seriousness; Forget .44 magnums, lightsabers, and Hattori Hanzo swords—in 2022, the belt pouch is the weapon of choice.