All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front ★★★

This adaptation is definitely bleak, able to show the blood and guts much more realistically than previous film versions. If all it was going for is a simple ‘war is hell’ message, the filmmakers did there job but All Quiet should be much more than that.

I think the biggest mistake was cross-cutting with the armistice negotiations. The novel and previous adaptations are solely from the soldiers’ perspective, driving home that they are pawns used by their fathers and statesmen . Seeing a German official care about and intercede on the soldiers’ behalf undercuts this message, making the soldiers’ death tragic because they were among the last to die. A life lost in November 1918 is just as pointless as one lost in 1914.

Luckily the mechanics of the film are well-executed and it isn’t a dull watch. For someone who holds the original 1930 film as a personal favorite, the 2022 adaptation fails to live up its predecessors.

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