Visually Stunning Remake Ushers All Quiet On The Western Front Into 2022

The film nicely updates the 1979 version while introducing a new generation to the horrors of WWI

Visually Stunning Remake Ushers All Quiet On The Western Front Into 2022

All Quiet on the Western Front, directed by Edward Berger, is a startling dive into the reality of war. It excellently conveys the message of the original movie it’s a remake of, originally released in 1979. Being a remake of an older movie, the visual quality of effects, the set design and cinematography are all excellently done, resulting in a movie that, visually, was incredibly satisfying to watch.

The movie initially pulls you into the false reality of the main character, Paul Bäumer (played by Felix Kammerer, this being his first major role in a mainstream project), who is trying to enlist in the German army, excited and swayed by propaganda to serve his country. This movie very quickly breaks this facade, opening up the viewer and Bäumer to a far harsher, and cruel reality, that being the reality of war.

The cinematography in the movie captured a true level of destruction and loss. With sets, outfits and post editing all contributing to a dark and bleak feeling fitting the war-torn setting perfectly. The shots put the viewer close into the action, always keeping the stakes up, and maintaining a connection between the main characters and the viewer. Attention to detail being so important too, everything in the movie is carefully crafted to fit the setting, specifically the time period. You really at times do feel that the movie was filmed during World War I.

(Attention: Spoilers Ahead)

Something that you just can’t not mention is Bäumer, performed by Felix Kammerer, is so well crafted and performed, especially considering it’s Kammerer’s first major role in a movie. Overall, the acting in the movie is relatively decent, although a large number of characters tend to not have any spotlight: this makes sense considering the war front setting where a lot of the possible characters are given no plot armor and serious mortality. This trend really leads into the end of the movie, where Bäumer is killed.

The movie follows a young German soldier (Bäumer), on his way to the front at the end of the war, initially convinced of the grandeur of the war, now realizing it’s far different from the facade he was presented with. The movie does a great job portraying the struggles and the learning curve of survival on the front, especially with how young Bäumer is. 

The deaths of multiple of his friends early on becomes the breaking point of the facade for Bäumer, really shocking the viewer, considering these characters were presented as heavily associated with our main character in the beginning. The end of the movie, though, really wraps things up in an unexpected but impactful way. Throughout the movie we get snippets of diplomats, portrayed throughout the movie as possibly the true antagonists, trying to come to a ceasefire, and at the end of the movie that happens; however, it happens not even a minute before Bäumer dies during a counterattack.

The sound and soundtrack in the movie also just have to be mentioned. While it doesn’t heavily rely upon the soundtrack to carry the impactfulness of a scene, the music is always there, dynamically shifting in the background, moving with the action. The sound design, too, is important on a war front setting, and it doesn’t let down, especially during the action.

The whole movie has a single objective that it achieves twice. The movie wants to inform first and foremost: it wants to tell a story that informs the viewer, educates even, on the harsh reality that is war, especially during WW1. 

It also tries to tell the story of the harsh treatment of Germany in the end. It is often regarded that, the destruction of Germany via crippling treaties, allowed the Nazi party to rise to power, and the diplomatic and political actions that occur in the movie make it hard for the rapidly falling German army and the soldiers who just want it to be over, which is well displayed. The movie overall just does a great job at conveying the historical lesson that WWI can teach us.

Overall, there’s not much that can be nitpicked from All Quiet On The Western Front. This remake does an even better job of conveying the message than it did in the original movie, all with modern visual effects, good acting, amazing sets and cinematography. It’s a very straightforward portrayal of war and never pulls any punches, always hitting hard in the end.