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All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front

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A platoon of German soldiers fights to survive in the trenches during the First World War in . Paul Bäumer (Felix Kammerer) enlists in the Imperial German Army in 1917, along with his friends Albert Kropp (Aaron Hilmer), Franz Müller (Moritz Klaus) and Ludwig Behm (Adrian Grünewald). The friends are deployed in Northern France near La Malmaison, where they befriend Stanislaus “Kat” Katczinsky (Albrecht Schuch). However, the platoon's romanticized views of warfare are shattered by the brutal realities of trench warfare on the Western Front.

All Quiet on the Western Front Synopsis

All Quiet on the Western Front is a war film co-written and directed by Edward Berger, based on the 1929 anti-war novel of the same name by Erich Maria Remarque, which was previously adapted as an Oscar-winning 1930 film and a 1979 television film. The film tells the story of an idealistic group of German soldiers who quickly become disillusioned by war when they find themselves trapped in trench warfare, unable to move forward more than a few hundred feet. German official Matthias Erzberger (Daniel Brühl) becomes concerned about the growing casualties and prepares to negotiate a ceasefire, all while General Friedrichs (Devid Striesow) prepares for his final stand.

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My Thoughts on All Quiet on the Western Front

I will not disagree that All Quiet on the Western Front is one of the quintessential anti-war stories. Told from the viewpoint of German soldiers, the story humanizes them and helps to demonstrate that there are no real heroes or villains in the horrors of war. In many ways, this 2022 adaptation of the story helps to convey that, mainly through the eyes of the protagonist Paul Bäumer.

However, I can't help but feel like Edward Berger's All Quiet on the Western Front is riding off the coattails somewhat of Lewis Milestone's original adaptation of the novel, which won the Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director. Having not seen the original, I cannot say how the new film directly compares. However, it does feel like Edward Berger is trying to modernize the film, including a guitar-based central theme while maintaining the film's First World War time period.

Most of the young German cast of All Quiet on the Western Front are likely to be unknown to North American audiences, though I can see both Felix Kammerer and Albrecht Schuch getting more attention as a result of this film. I'm also not surprised at all to see Daniel Brühl pop up as one of the most recognizable faces in the film since he has essentially been the go-to German character actor since his breakthrough role in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds.

Altogether, I found All Quiet on the Western Front a somewhat unremarkable war film. It's a perfectly watchable film, but you would probably be better off seeking out the 1930 original.

Trailer for All Quiet on the Western Front

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All Quiet On The Western Front (2022)
Runtime:148 minutes
Director:Edward Berger
Actors:
Paul Bäumer
Stanislaus Katczinsky
Albert Kropp
Franz Müller
Tjaden Stackfleet
Matthias Erzberger
General Ferdinand Foch
General Friedrichs
Leutnant Hoppe
Genres:Action, Drama, War
Writers:
(screenplay by) &
(screenplay by) &
(screenplay by)
(based on the novel by)
Production companies:
(Eine Amusement Park Film Produktion)
(in coproduktion mit)
(in zusammenarbeit mit)
(in zusammenarbeit mit) (ein film von Edward Berger)
Plots:
A young German soldier's terrifying experiences and distress on the western front during World War I.
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