"A Grisly, Realistic Adaptation of a Classic Novel"
What You Need To Know:
ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT is a bleak, hopeless movie about the true nature of war, told from the unique perspective of a German soldier. The movie maintains a powerful anti-war message like the original 1928 book and 1930 Hollywood movie, but with more intense gore and realism. While the story itself is meant to be sobering, the German adaptation takes the gore and violence to new levels. MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution due to bloody war violence.
ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT (2022) is a new German adaptation on Netflix of Erich Maria Remarque’s classic World War I novel about a German soldier, as he and his friends excitedly join the front lines of the western front, only to become disillusioned as, one by one, they are killed and wounded. This new version of ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT is a bleak, hopeless movie about the true nature of war, told from the unique perspective of a German soldier, with a powerful antiwar message but also with intense gore and realism. Germany has submitted the movie for Best International Film at 95th Academy Awards.
Paul and his friends join the western front on May 17, 1917, excited to serve their country and unaware of the horrors that await them. Quickly, they are thrust into battle and join the men in the trenches. Cold, dark and muddy, Paul and his companions realize they didn’t truly understand what the war was like for soldiers on the front lines.
The new recruits experience firing barrages, and Paul almost loses his life but the bullet deflects off his helmet. Soon after their arrival, one of Paul’s friends dies. Paul finds another soldier, who he refers to as Kat, whom he befriends. Their company is ordered away from the front lines as the German officers try to sign a peace treaty with the French. Kat and Paul hold on to hope that the war could end soon and that they could return to their families.
However, their company is ordered back to the trenches, and more of Paul’s friends perish. Paul finds himself in the middle of nowhere during a long battle, where he must kill to survive. The traumatic experience leaves Paul empathetic for the soldiers on the other side.
Days before the ceasefire, Kat and Paul raid a local farm to try to get some food in celebration of going home. However, the local farmers shoot Kat, who dies of his wounds back at camp. Paul, now fully alone, holds on to the last thread of hope that he has, the chance to return home. However, in blind rage, their superior officer orders one final attack on the western front, just hours before the worldwide ceasefire.
ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT is a sobering, anti-war movie just like the original 1928 book and the 1930 Hollywood movie, which won the Oscar for Best Picture from the 1930s. However, this German adaptation takes a more artistic approach to the violence. The movie’s cinematography is some of the best work of any war movie, and the performances are strong. However, the movie mainly focuses on Paul’s continual loss of hope and friends. It centers on his suffering whereas in the book, and even the first movie adaptation, focus on how the suffering of others changes Paul to become more empathetic for not only the German soldiers but his enemies as well.
That being said, ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT shows in grisly detail the full effect of man’s sin. While the movie never offers an answer to the hopelessness of sin, it could act as a good starting-off point for the hope found in Jesus Christ and His conquering of sin and the world.
Moviegoers should exercise caution before seeing ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT, which contains graphic war violence. With regard to its violence, the movie mirrors other war movies like HACKSAW RIDGE, but it doesn’t contain the same moral, hopeful messages.
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