I had high hopes for this German movie inspired by the novel "All Quiet on the Western Front" written by Erich Maria Remarque. I've read the novel many years ago and I remember it as a brilliant little book about World War 1.
I've read reviewers compare this new movie to masterpieces like "Saving Private Ryan". Let me shoot that one right down with a Mauser Gewehr 1898. "Im Westen Nichts Neues" is not a new war movie masterpiece.
The movie has some really intense combat scenes and the cinematography is excellent. The movie gives a realistic view on the soldiers lives in the trenches. The problem is the characters and the pacing. Many of the characters, including the main character, Paul Bäumer, are really annoying. You don't really feel for them and that is a problem. It is also a problem that the movie is very long and ridiculously slow at times. When they are not fighting in the trenches the movie just drags itself slowly forward at snail's pace.
I did like the scenes with the German top commanding officer, General Friedrichs. He hated social democrats with a vengeance and he predicted that they will be to blame for the end of all humankind. I totally agree with him. Social democrats are pure evil and they will destroy the world and everything in it, if they are not stopped soon.
You shouldn't watch this movie if you are tired, because there is great risk you'll fall asleep during some of the scenes where nothing continues to happen for what feels like forever. You should however see it for the realistic WW1 war scenes.
The movie is really awesome when the primitive tanks are roaring, when the flame throwers are on fire and when the machine guns are blasting. It's just too bad there is way too much filler crap along the way.
The movie should have been shortened down to 90 minutes and I guarantee that it would have been a much better movie.