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The Best Reboot Or Remake Of 2022

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I remember when I was younger I left the theater after watching Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on a particularly awkward date with my former partner and her father. While casually snorting at the diversity of the cast, he commended the film for being “realistic” in its portrayal of warfare. I found it confusing at the time and have continued to find it so when hearing similar praise about it over the years. I’m not sure I understood why I found it so confusing until I saw Edward Berger’s 2022 remake of All Quiet on the Western Front.

Rogue One is not unlike many American war films – there’s honor, a clear mission, altruistic goals and heroic sacrifices. There are no such things in Berger’s film. Based on the 1928 novel by German foot soldier Erich Maria Remarque, “Alles still…” tells the story of a group of young boys who enthusiastically enlist in the German military during World War I. They, too, dream of honor, purpose, skill, and sacrifice.

However, All Quiet’s war is not a matter of logic or meaning. It’s a matter of tragedy, ego, outrage and chaos. After two previous and highly acclaimed American adaptations, Berger is the first German filmmaker to tell this story. The result is something uniquely humble, free from the stoic pride that often corrodes even the most well-meaning American effort into something eerily close to propaganda.

That’s not to say the film is just an exercise in misery, a must-watch to instill guilt in the audience. Berger fights like hell for moments of light, each soldier painted with the most vivid emotions and inner workings. Scenes like Paul reading Kat a letter from his wife or Franz fleeing with a troop of traveling French women stick in my memory more poignantly than any gruesome battle. It’s a frightening film, yes, but it’s also amazingly loving. Achieving such a heart in a war film without bowing to heroic myths is the true feat of All Quiet on the Western Front.



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