Movie Review: Everything Everywhere All at Once

 

Despite my best efforts—watching Nova on PBS, reading pop-sci books written in the simplest terms—I don’t understand the multiverse theory. You did a math problem and came to the conclusion there are an infinite number of parallel universes? I’ll take your word for it, Mr. Hawking.

It was a relief to learn that the “theory” isn’t a theory in the scientific sense, but mere hypothesis. The implications are horrifying. For every universe you raise a happy, successful family there’s one where you’re miserable and destitute. That time you felt queasy and saved yourself embarrassment by not attending your brother-in-law’s dinner party is a wash, because one universe over you did attend and were browner and sadder for it. Every dumb observation, inappropriate joke, Vox headline, and rude comment you kept to yourself was blurted out by one of your parallel “selves.” Decisions don’t matter.

The sleeper hit Everything Everywhere All at Once, which opened nationwide last weekend, shows that if nothing else, the multiverse theory is a goldmine for creative storytellers. It’s about Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh) who is at her wits’ end. Her laundromat business is in hot water with the IRS, her marriage is struggling and she’s not even aware her husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quan) has filed divorce papers, her college-age daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu) is dating a woman and that won’t go over well with Evelyn’s father (James Hong) who is visiting from China.

At the IRS office, Evelyn gets roped into an interdimensional conflict. She is informed she is one of many Evelyns. The Evelyn from the Alpha Universe was the first person to discover a method of traveling between universes. That Evelyn is recruiting this Evelyn to combat the villain, Jobu Tupaki, a being who experiences all parallel universes at once and is a threat to the entire multiverse. As confusing as that synopsis is, the movie is not hard to follow. For all its elaborate plotting and its temporal and spatial anarchy, EEAaO keeps the viewer in the loop and does so without a condescending amount of exposition. You’re never more confused than the characters are.

The Wang family played by (left to right) Stephanie Hsu, Michelle Yeoh, and Ke Huy Quan.

The movie was directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert known mononymously as Daniels. Their only previous feature is Swiss Army Man, in which a man played by Paul Dano escapes a deserted island with the aid of a farting corpse played by Daniel Radcliffe. I have not seen Swiss Army Man on the basis no movie could live up to such a premise. Daniels like their high concepts, but they know ideas only get you so far. Anyone can come up with good ideas. Consider the 2019 indie movie Mega Time Squad. It’s about a small-time crook who gets his hands on an amulet that lets him travel back in time fifteen minutes, each time creating a copy of himself. He uses these copies to create a gang to pull off heists. A brilliant concept for a story. It starts off fun, then you realize the writer never got further than the initial idea and wasn’t going to exploit the premise for the various bonkers possibilities it offers.

The Daniels don’t introduce an idea without exploring its sundry implications. Maybe because comedy plays such a big part in their movies, they understand the importance of paying off what you set up. Getting back to EEAaO, there are technicians who look up the quickest ways one can channel the abilities of their selves from other universes, like having to make paper cuts between your fingers to gain the spryness of yourself from a universe in which you were a gymnast. I won’t spoil the many methods to initiate this “verse-hopping” as they call it. I’ll only say that two characters merely glancing at an object leads to the biggest laugh in the movie.

Jamie Lee Curtis is near unrecognizable as Deirdre Beaubeirdra.

A plot this zany—and trust me, I’ve barely touched on the zaniness—requires superb performances to maintain some semblance of reality. Michelle Yeoh is the heart of the film. She portrays Evelyn as frazzled and so put upon you can’t help but root for her even while realizing she’s stubborn, oblivious to her husband, and clueless with her daughter. It’s great seeing this legend of Hong Kong cinema get her dues, and at 59 she still carries an action scene. Ke Huy Quan plays Waymond as her equally flustered spouse, and switches to an ultra-competent take on the character when he plays the version from the Alpha Universe. Quan played Data and Short Round in The Goonies and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom respectively. It would’ve driven me nuts had I not known that beforehand. The most surprising performance comes from Jamie Lee Curtis as an IRS agent. It’s not surprising because it’s good; that’s a given. It’s surprising because I had no idea it was Curtis until the end credits.

Everything Everywhere All at Once loses some steam about halfway through once it can no longer run purely on manic energy and novel ideas, and must delve into its central drama which is Evelyn reconciling with her daughter. The emotions are laid on thick. It’s hard to complain, though. Here’s a new movie that’s not based on an existing IP, respects the audience’s intelligence, is boundlessly creative, and yet is a humble martial arts comedy with wide appeal. Consensus is rare in this business, but believe me, everyone is right: this movie is good. And as far as learning about the multiverse, it beats sitting through a Michio Kaku lecture. Hell, I’m warming to multiverse theory myself. Now if only I was in the universe where the couple next to me in the theater kept their commentary to themselves.

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    The Girlie Show: Now if only I was in the universe where the couple next to me in the theater kept their commentary to themselves.

    You were.

    • #1
  2. The Girlie Show Member
    The Girlie Show
    @CatIII

    Arahant (View Comment):

    The Girlie Show: Now if only I was in the universe where the couple next to me in the theater kept their commentary to themselves.

    You were.

    Now I’m back to not understanding the multiverse.

    • #2
  3. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Multiverse stuff is just lazy crap, really.  I only take it as far as a joke, “Time is what keeps everything from happening all at once, and space is what keeps everything from happening to ME.”

    • #3
  4. LC Member
    LC
    @LidensCheng

    I fully intend to watch this movie. But you should watch Swiss Army Man. That movie is crazy fun. Mostly crazy, but you know those actors had a lot of fun filming it. Proudly zany and odd are these filmmakers’ thing. 

    • #4
  5. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    I don’t think I’ve seen a new movie since Men At Work, but I enjoy Yer reviews. 

     

    The Girlie Show: Now if only I was in the universe where the couple next to me in the theater kept their commentary to themselves.

    That would be out of this world. 

    • #5
  6. The Girlie Show Member
    The Girlie Show
    @CatIII

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Multiverse stuff is just lazy crap, really. I only take it as far as a joke, “Time is what keeps everything from happening all at once, and space is what keeps everything from happening to ME.”

    Lazy is not a word that accurately describes this movie.

    • #6
  7. The Girlie Show Member
    The Girlie Show
    @CatIII

    LC (View Comment):

    I fully intend to watch this movie. But you should watch Swiss Army Man. That movie is crazy fun. Mostly crazy, but you know those actors had a lot of fun filming it. Proudly zany and odd are these filmmakers’ thing.

    My brother saw SAM at Sundance. It’s always been a movie I’d see if a friend wanted to watch it. After seeing EEAaO, I’m now motivated to proactively seek it out. Hope it’s streaming somewhere.

    • #7
  8. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    The Girlie Show (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Multiverse stuff is just lazy crap, really. I only take it as far as a joke, “Time is what keeps everything from happening all at once, and space is what keeps everything from happening to ME.”

    Lazy is not a word that accurately describes this movie.

    I think it’s possible to make a fun movie from a lazy type of premise or world-view or whatever.  To me it sounds like I’d have the same reaction as I would to the writings of Anne McCaffrey and Ursula Le Guin when they were members of a Sci-Fi group I belonged to:  I’m not interested in reading about dragons, no matter how well-motivated they’re supposed to be.

    • #8
  9. The Girlie Show Member
    The Girlie Show
    @CatIII

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):
    I don’t think I’ve seen a new movie since Men At Work, but I enjoy Yer reviews. 

    That’s almost as far back as when I was born. I appreciate the support.

    • #9
  10. The Girlie Show Member
    The Girlie Show
    @CatIII

    kedavis (View Comment):

    The Girlie Show (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Multiverse stuff is just lazy crap, really. I only take it as far as a joke, “Time is what keeps everything from happening all at once, and space is what keeps everything from happening to ME.”

    Lazy is not a word that accurately describes this movie.

    I think it’s possible to make a fun movie from a lazy type of premise or world-view or whatever. To me it sounds like I’d have the same reaction as I would to the writings of Anne McCaffrey and Ursula Le Guin when they were members of a Sci-Fi group I belonged to: I’m not interested in reading about dragons, no matter how well-motivated they’re supposed to be.

    To each their own.

    • #10
  11. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    The Girlie Show (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    The Girlie Show (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Multiverse stuff is just lazy crap, really. I only take it as far as a joke, “Time is what keeps everything from happening all at once, and space is what keeps everything from happening to ME.”

    Lazy is not a word that accurately describes this movie.

    I think it’s possible to make a fun movie from a lazy type of premise or world-view or whatever. To me it sounds like I’d have the same reaction as I would to the writings of Anne McCaffrey and Ursula Le Guin when they were members of a Sci-Fi group I belonged to: I’m not interested in reading about dragons, no matter how well-motivated they’re supposed to be.

    To each their own.

    What it usually came down to was the dragons – or whatever – had basically the same kind of motivations as any of the other characters, i.e., human.  So why not just make them people?  There was really no difference anyway.  Writing a person and then saying “but it’s a dragon!” just strikes me as lazy and pointless, just a cheap trick to draw in an audience of rather dim/dull people who will think “Golly, THAT’S different!”

    Regarding the “multiverse” stuff, remember that infinite universes mean everything is infinite.  That means that there’s even an infinite number of timelines/universes/whatever where each of us, and ALL of us, were never born at all…  Also, an infinite number where Earth never existed, where our solar system never formed at all…  Frankly I find it difficult to think of anything less interesting. I suppose the real problem is the people who think those kinds of things are cool, rarely if ever realize what it actually means.

    Many years ago, I read “one too many” stories with the “WILD!” premise that our universe is just an atom in a larger universe, etc, which was used rather often back in the early 1900s sci-fi (and in the Men In Black films too, of course) and if you “shrank” yourself enough you found yourself in an entirely different universe…  I postulated a religion based on that, which required us to help bring more of those sub-universes into existence by setting off as many atomic explosions as possible even though it would of course wipe US out…  But what makes OUR universe so special versus all those others waiting to be created?  I called it the Church Of What The Hell Difference Does It Make Anyway?

     

    • #11
  12. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    kedavis (View Comment):
    I postulated a religion based on that, which required us to help bring more of those sub-universes into existence by setting off as many atomic explosions as possible even though it would of course wipe US out…  But what makes OUR universe so special versus all those others waiting to be created?  I called it the Church Of What The Hell Difference Does It Make Anyway?

    I think I’ll stick with the Church of God on a Harley.

    • #12
  13. Mark Alexander Coolidge
    Mark Alexander
    @MarkAlexander

    Multiverse? Easy peasy. Right now there are dozens of radio station and cell phone wavelengths passing through you. Each is it’s own world. A kind of multiverse that you only know about if you have the means to tune in to individual bands.

    200 years ago, everyone would think you a nut if you proposed such a thing.

     

    • #13
  14. Roberto Member
    Roberto
    @Roberto
    • #14
  15. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    My wife and I went out to the movies last night. We considered Everything Everywhere.  Chose Father Stu instead. Clearly we made the right choice. 

    • #15
  16. MiMac Thatcher
    MiMac
    @MiMac

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Multiverse stuff is just lazy crap, really. I only take it as far as a joke, “Time is what keeps everything from happening all at once, and space is what keeps everything from happening to ME.”

    The major reason the multiverse theory exists is an attempt to create an explanation for existence that doesn’t require God- altho it just pushes back the problem far down the sequence (it’s turtles all the way down).

    • #16
  17. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    MiMac (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Multiverse stuff is just lazy crap, really. I only take it as far as a joke, “Time is what keeps everything from happening all at once, and space is what keeps everything from happening to ME.”

    The major reason the multiverse theory exists is an attempt to create an explanation for existence that doesn’t require God- altho it just pushes back the problem far down the sequence (it’s turtles all the way down).

    That’s likely the “deep” reason, but for a lot of people it’s just about the “golly gee whiz!” or something.  There was an episode of The Big Bang Theory where Penny’s ex Zack is talking about the two versions of Archie comics, one where Archie is married to Betty and one where he’s married to Veronica!  Minds blown!

    • #17
  18. Taras Coolidge
    Taras
    @Taras

    kedavis (View Comment):

    MiMac (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Multiverse stuff is just lazy crap, really. I only take it as far as a joke, “Time is what keeps everything from happening all at once, and space is what keeps everything from happening to ME.”

    The major reason the multiverse theory exists is an attempt to create an explanation for existence that doesn’t require God- altho it just pushes back the problem far down the sequence (it’s turtles all the way down).

    That’s likely the “deep” reason, but for a lot of people it’s just about the “golly gee whiz!” or something. There was an episode of The Big Bang Theory where Penny’s ex Zack is talking about the two versions of Archie comics, one where Archie is married to Betty and one where he’s married to Veronica! Minds blown!

    There is physicist Hugh Everett’s hypothesis, in which certain problems in quantum theory are cleaned up if every quantum event causes the universe to split. 

    Then there is the cosmological hypothesis that the (so far) inexplicable “tuning” of physical constants to permit life to exist  in this universe is explained by there being an almost infinite number of other universes, where those constants very randomly. We see a lifeless universe like one of those in the movie, at one point.

    Then there is the idea, more used by science fiction than science, in which time travel results in new universes branching off. For example, if you shoot your grandfather before he met your grandmother, you get a new timeline instead of a paradox. In the new timeline, you were never born; but that doesn’t stop the “you” from the old timeline to go back in time and shoot your grandfather.

    The movie is set in this kind of multiverse, even though time travel does not play a role.

    • #18
  19. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Taras (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    MiMac (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Multiverse stuff is just lazy crap, really. I only take it as far as a joke, “Time is what keeps everything from happening all at once, and space is what keeps everything from happening to ME.”

    The major reason the multiverse theory exists is an attempt to create an explanation for existence that doesn’t require God- altho it just pushes back the problem far down the sequence (it’s turtles all the way down).

    That’s likely the “deep” reason, but for a lot of people it’s just about the “golly gee whiz!” or something. There was an episode of The Big Bang Theory where Penny’s ex Zack is talking about the two versions of Archie comics, one where Archie is married to Betty and one where he’s married to Veronica! Minds blown!

    There is physicist Hugh Everett’s hypothesis, in which certain problems in quantum theory are cleaned up if every quantum event causes the universe to split.

    Then there is the cosmological hypothesis that the (so far) inexplicable “tuning” of physical constants to permit life to exist in this universe is explained by there being an almost infinite number of other universes, where those constants very randomly. We see a lifeless universe like one of those in the movie, at one point.

    Then there is the idea, more used by science fiction than science, in which time travel results in new universes branching off. For example, if you shoot your grandfather before he met your grandmother, you get a new timeline instead of a paradox. In the new timeline, you were never born; but that doesn’t stop the “you” from the old timeline to go back in time and shoot your grandfather.

    The movie is set in this kind of multiverse, even though time travel does not play a role.

    Timothy Zahn wrote some stories books in his “Cascade Point” series with a similar idea.

    But if the quantum fluctuations result in infinite universes, based on (for example) whether I type this line in 30 seconds, or 29.999 seconds, or 29.998 seconds…  again it’s all infinite, and any “portion” of infinity is still infinity…  well, I just don’t think that’s interesting.  There are still – for example – an infinite number of universes in which (comic book) Archie marries (comic book) Betty or (comic book) Veronia on different page numbers, etc etc etc.  There doesn’t seem to be any point in picking ONE of them to focus on.  Or make a movie or TV show about.

    • #19
  20. Trink Coolidge
    Trink
    @Trink

    Mark Alexander (View Comment):
    Right now there are dozens of radio station and cell phone wavelengths passing through you. Each is it’s own world. A kind of multiverse that you only know about if you have the means to tune in to individual bands.

    In our family . .  there have been mysterious wavelengths . . . between brains.   My grandmother, our astrophysicist son and I, have had moments when we connected with other minds transmitting thoughts/feelings across great distances.  So much mystery.

    • #20
  21. John Hanson Thatcher
    John Hanson
    @JohnHanson

    It is worse than you suggest, actually for every instant in time where anything at all happened, there are not two things but an infinity of possible events, so you really have an infinity of infinities.  Now my head hurts!

    • #21
  22. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    John Hanson (View Comment):

    It is worse than you suggest, actually for every instant in time where anything at all happened, there are not two things but an infinity of possible events, so you really have an infinity of infinities. Now my head hurts!

    Yes, that’s what I mean.  It can be difficult to get across the idea that it’s not just whether you had pancakes or waffles for breakfast, but how much batter was in each one, down to the ATOM really.

    That’s just for people who want to believe that kind of thing, of course.  I don’t.  And even if it’s true, it makes absolutely no difference to our lives.

    • #22
  23. Taras Coolidge
    Taras
    @Taras

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Taras (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    MiMac (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Multiverse stuff is just lazy crap, really. I only take it as far as a joke, “Time is what keeps everything from happening all at once, and space is what keeps everything from happening to ME.”

    The major reason the multiverse theory exists is an attempt to create an explanation for existence that doesn’t require God- altho it just pushes back the problem far down the sequence (it’s turtles all the way down).

    That’s likely the “deep” reason, but for a lot of people it’s just about the “golly gee whiz!” or something. There was an episode of The Big Bang Theory where Penny’s ex Zack is talking about the two versions of Archie comics, one where Archie is married to Betty and one where he’s married to Veronica! Minds blown!

    There is physicist Hugh Everett’s hypothesis, in which certain problems in quantum theory are cleaned up if every quantum event causes the universe to split.

    Then there is the cosmological hypothesis that the (so far) inexplicable “tuning” of physical constants to permit life to exist in this universe is explained by there being an almost infinite number of other universes, where those constants very randomly. We see a lifeless universe like one of those in the movie, at one point.

    Then there is the idea, more used by science fiction than science, in which time travel results in new universes branching off. For example, if you shoot your grandfather before he met your grandmother, you get a new timeline instead of a paradox. In the new timeline, you were never born; but that doesn’t stop the “you” from the old timeline to go back in time and shoot your grandfather.

    The movie is set in this kind of multiverse, even though time travel does not play a role.

    Timothy Zahn wrote some stories books in his “Cascade Point” series with a similar idea.

    But if the quantum fluctuations result in infinite universes, based on (for example) whether I type this line in 30 seconds, or 29.999 seconds, or 29.998 seconds… again it’s all infinite, and any “portion” of infinity is still infinity… well, I just don’t think that’s interesting. There are still – for example – an infinite number of universes in which (comic book) Archie marries (comic book) Betty or (comic book) Veronia on different page numbers, etc etc etc. There doesn’t seem to be any point in picking ONE of them to focus on. Or make a movie or TV show about.

    Er, which “similar idea”?  I described three ideas.

    If it comes to that, why pick ONE of the nearly 8 billion people on Earth, to make a movie or TV show about?

    Here’s a good account of Hugh Everett and his idea: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/hugh-everett-biography/

    • #23
  24. Roderic Reagan
    Roderic
    @rhfabian

    The Big Bang theory is the result of the observation that the universe is constantly expanding.  Extrapolate this phenomenon back in time and one comes to a point where all the universe started as a small object.  This object apparently suddenly expanded to form space, time, and all that we know the universe to be.  Detailed theories about how the expansion of the universe happened back to a fraction of a second after the universe began are generally accepted.

    When the Big Bang theory came out the similarity between this idea of the beginning of the universe  and the biblical story of creation was obvious.  Many  found the idea of a universe with a definite beginning that was presumably put in motion by some First Great Cause, nature unknown, threatening.  The idea of an infinite universe with no beginning or end is more palatable because the Great Cause can be thereby pushed aside.  The multiverse is one variation of the infinite universe.  

    There is no way to prove or disprove the existence of the multiverse or to otherwise ever know how that which became the universe came to be.  Dabbling in such things is not science at all, it’s quasi-religious speculation undertaken  only because of discomfort on the part of some scholars with reality.  

     

    • #24
  25. Taras Coolidge
    Taras
    @Taras

    Roderic (View Comment):

    The Big Bang theory is the result of the observation that the universe is constantly expanding. Extrapolate this phenomenon back in time and one comes to a point where all the universe started as a small object. This object apparently suddenly expanded to form space, time, and all that we know the universe to be. Detailed theories about how the expansion of the universe happened back to a fraction of a second after the universe began are generally accepted.

    When the Big Bang theory came out the similarity between this idea of the beginning of the universe and the biblical story of creation was obvious. Many found the idea of a universe with a definite beginning that was presumably put in motion by some First Great Cause, nature unknown, threatening. The idea of an infinite universe with no beginning or end is more palatable because the Great Cause can be thereby pushed aside. The multiverse is one variation of the infinite universe.

    There is no way to prove or disprove the existence of the multiverse or to otherwise ever know how that which became the universe came to be. Dabbling in such things is not science at all, it’s quasi-religious speculation undertaken only because of discomfort on the part of some scholars with reality.

     

    Not entirely.  

    “Unique features in the CMB [cosmic microwave background] could be the first direct evidence we’ve ever had of the multiverse — of an infinity of worlds and alien peoples that exist beyond the known universe.” — https://interestingengineering.com/the-first-ever-evidence-of-the-multiverse

    • #25
  26. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Roderic (View Comment):

    The Big Bang theory is the result of the observation that the universe is constantly expanding. Extrapolate this phenomenon back in time and one comes to a point where all the universe started as a small object. This object apparently suddenly expanded to form space, time, and all that we know the universe to be. Detailed theories about how the expansion of the universe happened back to a fraction of a second after the universe began are generally accepted.

    When the Big Bang theory came out the similarity between this idea of the beginning of the universe and the biblical story of creation was obvious. Many found the idea of a universe with a definite beginning that was presumably put in motion by some First Great Cause, nature unknown, threatening. The idea of an infinite universe with no beginning or end is more palatable because the Great Cause can be thereby pushed aside. The multiverse is one variation of the infinite universe.

    There is no way to prove or disprove the existence of the multiverse or to otherwise ever know how that which became the universe came to be. Dabbling in such things is not science at all, it’s quasi-religious speculation undertaken only because of discomfort on the part of some scholars with reality.

    I’m pretty sure that could go either way:  you say the multiverse is just an excuse for people who can’t handle religion/creation, but that could be because you’re already religious.  Meanwhile, religion/creation could be just an excuse for people who can’t handle the multiverse.

    • #26
  27. Internet's Hank Contributor
    Internet's Hank
    @HankRhody

    The Girlie Show: The implications are horrifying. For every universe you raise a happy, successful family there’s one where you’re miserable and destitute. That time you felt queasy and saved yourself embarrassment by not attending your brother-in-law’s dinner party is a wash, because one universe over you did attend and were browner and sadder for it. Every dumb observation, inappropriate joke, Vox headline, and rude comment you kept to yourself was blurted out by one of your parallel “selves.” Decisions don’t matter.

    Having finally worked up the gumption to read your review, I of course found it interesting, informative, and clever, as promised. In particular this paragraph. I hadn’t stopped to contemplate the futility implied by a multiverse before.

    Re the scientific basis for a multiverse (and a quick thanks to Taras for actually discussing the reasons science looks in that direction). To put it simply, you know the Schroedinger’s cat experiment that’s so meme-ish? Cat in the box, come back in an hour, if the atom has decayed the cat is dead, otherwise it’s still alive. Before you open the box, which is it? Multiverse theory is one way to avoid the alive-and-dead superposition; one universe has a dead cat and another has an alive cat.

    There are a couple assumptions that you need to make between that interpretation being correct and your decision to make a dumb joke hinging on which universe split you end up in. For one, that everything betwixt cup and lip is a quantum mechanical interaction of some sort. For another, that our understanding of quantum mechanics is fundamentally sound. For a third, that every quantum mechanical calculation actually does have an infinite number of plausible outcomes. But all that isn’t really a question of things we know, it’s more about which spin you want to put on the few things we actually do know, so I’ll let that alone for now.

    • #27
  28. Internet's Hank Contributor
    Internet's Hank
    @HankRhody

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Multiverse stuff is just lazy crap, really. 

    It certainly can be. Most times I see it used in a story it’s used as an excuse for lazy writing. The man comic book continuities are pretty bad for this. 

    Take what you know of economics; that sign and that spigot just waiting there is at least as improbable as being able to shout some mangled Latin and teleport through walls. 

    But just because it’s often used as bad writing doesn’t mean it always is. Take the archetypical Mad Scientist. Usually he’s used as a cardboard villain-of-the-week, or a plot hook hanger. Need to blast someone into an alternate dimension? Add one Mad Scientist, shake thoroughly. But that doesn’t mean every story with a Mad Scientist in it qualifies. Certainly the early ones (The Island of Dr. Moreau, Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) took the characters seriously. You can also find modern ones that do (The White Plague by Frank Herbert is the only novel that springs immediately to mind). You can have a story about Mad Scientists that has depth to it even though that’s not the norm.

    From the review here it sounds like this movie is an interesting and fun take on a trope that’s usually used to patch over bad writing. I’m willing to give it a shot.

    • #28
  29. Internet's Hank Contributor
    Internet's Hank
    @HankRhody

    kedavis (View Comment):
    I postulated a religion based on that, which required us to help bring more of those sub-universes into existence by setting off as many atomic explosions as possible even though it would of course wipe US out…

    The Church of Atom, in Fallout III and IV, takes literally that view. They don’t take it much further than trying to irradiate the heck out of you.

    • #29
  30. The Girlie Show Member
    The Girlie Show
    @CatIII

    Internet's Hank (View Comment):
    But just because it’s often used as bad writing doesn’t mean it always is. Take the archetypical Mad Scientist. Usually he’s used as a cardboard villain-of-the-week, or a plot hook hanger. Need to blast someone into an alternate dimension? Add one Mad Scientist, shake thoroughly. But that doesn’t mean every story with a Mad Scientist in it qualifies. Certainly the early ones (The Island of Dr. Moreau, Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) took the characters seriously. You can also find modern ones that do (The White Plague by Frank Herbert is the only novel that springs immediately to mind). You can have a story about Mad Scientists that has depth to it even though that’s not the norm.

    Re-Animator is a more modern example of a mad scientist done well though it’s based on Lovecraft so not that modern. The Skin I Live In is an even better example that’s not too many years old. It is also based on a book, though the book was published in the 80s.

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