All Quiet on the Western Front

Director: Edward Berger
Year Released: 2022
Rating: 2.0

Goaded on by his teacher and friends, Paul (Felix Kammerer) signs up to fight for the Imperial German Army in World War I, only to find out what a living nightmare trench warfare truly is and how outgunned they are; on the political side, Minister of Finance Matthias Erzberger (Daniel Brühl) recognizes his soldiers are dying in large numbers and wants to end the conflict (as a reward for his service to his country he would go on to be assassinated in 1945).  I personally consider the 1930 adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque's novel to be a classic and one of the most essential movies of that decade, but there's something resoundingly off about this (well beyond the odious soundtrack): the cinematography (by James Friend) is distinctive but it almost makes it look like it was recorded on another planet (rending it all somewhat unreal) and Berger's direction is pedestrian at best (which is a polite way of saying he is not a poet).  The anti-war sentiment is made early on and hammered at repeatedly - this is not the fate we should desire for our children or grandchildren.  And yet ... it keeps happening, and will continue to happen until we're all inevitably dust.