In April 2010, there is no oil exploration operation in the Gulf of Mexico to compare with the Deepwater Horizon oil rig with its size or sheer depth of its drilling. However, the project for the BP oil company is beset with technical difficulties to the point where the general operational supervisor, Jimmy Harrell, and his Chief Electrical Engineer, Mike Williams, are concerned potentially dangerous trouble is brewing. Unfortunately, visiting BP executives, frustrated by the project’s long delays, order curtailed site inspections and slanted system tests to make up for lost time even as Harrell, Williams and his team helplessly protest for the sake of proper safety. On April 20, the workers’ fears are realized in the worst possible way when the rig’s various structural and system flaws spark a catastrophic cascade of failures that would create a massive blowout and explosion that threatens them all, even as it also begins the worst environmental disaster in US history.
Kenneth Chisholm ([email protected])
User Reviews: In April of 2010, an offshore drilling rig named Deepwater Horizon exploded resulting in the worst oil spill in U. S. History. If you’ve read my previous reviews about Eddie the Eagle, Steve Jobs, The Big Short and Spotlight, you know that it’s easy to get caught up in the details of how much of the story based on actual events really happened and how much was embellished or altered to make a Hollywood movie. Along the way, I have made a decision to do no research into the facts of the real-life story and just focus solely on the movie itself. I mean, the movie makes no claims to be a historically accurate documentary, so I shouldn’t hold it to those standards. And this blog isn’t about movies being historically accurate when they don’t necessarily claim to be. It’s based on two factors: how accurately the movie is portrayed by its preview, and the likelihood of the movie making it to my home collection. With that in mind, here’s my review:
Mark Wahlberg plays Mike Williams who works on the drilling rig the Deepwater Horizon. But that’s the third thing we learn about Williams from the preview. He’s a husband and a father first. He says goodbye to his family before being flown by helicopter with his crew to the rig. All his daughter wants is a dinosaur fossil. All his wife (Kate Hudson) wants is for him to return safely. Once aboard the rig, an executive named Vidrine (John Malkovich) and others from British Petroleum are more than anxious to commence with drilling. They skip a concrete test and excuse a failed system test. They are already 43 days behind and over budget and will do whatever it takes to not fall further behind despite Mister Jimmy’s (Kurt Russell) stern objections. They should have listened to Mister Jimmy because everyone’s worst nightmares explode into reality.
Deepwater Horizon marks the reunion of Director Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg who collaborated on Lone Survivor three years ago. It was nominated for Oscars for Sound Mixing and Sound Editing and won the Screen Actors Guild Award for best stunt team performance. While Wahlberg has been nominated for his roles in The Fighter and The Departed, he’s one of those reliable actors who makes smart choices. If you’ve liked one thing Wahlberg has done, odds are,you’ll like them all. Most of them won’t get nominated for awards, but they will all be entertaining. Berg is in the same category. He’s directed some really good movies (Lone Survivor, Battleship, Hancock,The Kingdom), but none that would really break into a critic’s top 50 list. Like Wahlberg, if you enjoyed one of Berg’s movies, odds are, you’ll at least feel you got your money’s worth with all of them.
From the preview, I said that Deepwater Horizon looked action-packed and visually stunning, but that it also looked predictable with pieces of the rig falling apart or blowing up blocking every turn as Williams and the survivors try to find a way to escape. I anticipated 3 Stars but I’m bumping that up to 4.0 Stars. It was exactly as the preview said it would be and it was absolutely predictable; however, even though you knew what was coming, it was so perfectly executed, it still shocked you. From the beginning, there was no doubt about the fate of the rig as not-so-subtle clues were dropped along the way from his daughter’s school presentation, to the tie of the executive, to the helicopter ride to the rig. You knew it was going to happen, but when it did, it choked the breath right out of you and didn’t give it back until the very end of the movie. It is worth the money to watch in theatres. Though I’m not sure I’ll be owning Deepwater Horizon, I will be watching it again.