There are two things Director Peter Berg loves, disaster stories and Mark Wahlberg. Take those ingredients with a heaping of corporate greed and some pinches of love, and out pops Deepwater Horizon.
The film retells the event of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and how it caused the biggest oil spill of US history, following Mike Williams (Whalberg) and Jimmy Harrell (Kurt Russell) as they work on the Deepwater Horizon and directly deal with the poor decisions made by the world’s largest oil company, British Petroleum. Kate Hudson and Dylan O’Brien also co-star.
For just clocking in at under 2 hours run-time, Deepwater Horizon does not feel that long. The film hits the ground running and keeps you moving with it. There is never a dull moment and it grabs your full attention when the first disaster strikes and does not let go of you until the end credits roll. Deepwater Horizon is a very intense film and I was holding my breath a couple of times during those key sequences. During these sequences, there are not multiple shaky cam cuts, but clear and concise ones. Berg really wanted the audience to realize the damage and impact that happened and he did a good job doing so. By the end of the movie I really had a sense of what happened and how much worse it was than I remember.
With such a strong cast, there wasn’t one performance that really stood out. They were all powerful working together and brought a better sense of the teamwork and companionship that those on the Deepwater Horizon had. Unfortunately with a disaster like this one, lives were lost and the film really drives that home. You feel for these characters and their families for who they lost and this will lead many to tears. Something I was curious on was the portrayal of the corporate greed that BP had to cause this tragedy. Deepwater Horizon is not a forgiving movie that shows BP in a positive light, it shows you exactly why this oil rig went down and why men lost their lives. The audience is almost immediately lead to believe these guys are all about the money and to not care about the people involved aside from themselves.
During the beginning of the film when Mike Williams arrives on the Deepwater Horizon and is meeting with his crew, talking and making jokes, it feels very forced. It moves very fast, and does not feel natural at all. I understand adding jokes in to the lighten the mood, but this film did it very rapidly and in quick succession. It didn’t fit in and didn’t work for me at all. There is a lot of oil drilling terms and errors that are thrown around that can be very confusing at times. Granted, Deepwater Horizon tries to remedy this with close-ups of various buttons and mechanisms of the rig to explain what these terms are but it can be overwhelming at times. Especially during the high tension moments.
On the whole, Deepwater Horizon is very powerful film with intense action and an inspiring message. With a strong cast and powerful moments, you will get a better understanding of this devastating tragedy and really bring to light the damage BP did. I recommend you add Deepwater Horizon to your must-watch list this year.